16 January 2007

more drama in highland square

Even I thought Highland Square might be quieting down a bit. Ha!

In the last two weeks, there was speculation about the grocery promised to the neighborhood. Why hadn't they broken ground yet? Was there actually going to be a grocery or was it a clever trick to make the lot into another parking lot?

Those questions and ideas have been superceded this week with the information that there are plans to raze the Highland Theater—an unquestionable beacon, albeit not fulfilling its potential, of Highland Square. You can view the permit details here.

It looks like these plans have been brewing behind closed doors among the city, Akron Public Schools and Ted Bare--the owner of the Highland Theater. Portage Path elementary school, located behind the theater, has been in need of renovating/expanding, and it appears as if the theater will be razed to make space for the school.

This city is screwed up.

If you are interested in attending an emergency meeting about this current situation this evening, please contact me.


part-time buddha said...

Wait. So why do you want to move to Cleveland? Shit this exciting only happens on General Hospital and in Akron.

Christine said...

I landed here via a rather circuitous route, having read your blog before but not knowing you were involved with Highland Square until I read about the theatre closing, which led me to the neighborhood association page, which led to the peppermint-lisa name recognition....

Anyway, I'd only been to the Highland Theatre once (shortly before I moved away from NEO, about 3 years ago.) I thought it was a really fantastic and unique space, and was pretty appalled to read that its future looks so dim.

In looking through the comments on the Ohio.com article, I found the following, which I wanted to bring to your attention:

Our son who grew up in West Akron suggested to us ten years ago that the Highland would be a great place to establish a microbrewery with a restaurant which could show movies or have live musical entertainment. If someone had the capital to invest, I think this would be a great idea.

There's a place in Portland like this, called McMenamins Mission Theater - it's a second-run movie house, plus they serve beer and wine and the kind of high quality food you expect in Portland. It's a great atmosphere, and the shows only cost $3. The Highland would be absolutely perfect for something like this.

I'm not sure how much the mayor would care about the opinions of someone who a) lives in New York and b) never actually lived in Akron, but I plan on writing him a letter too.

Good luck!

peppermintlisa said...

that sounds like a good idea to me, christine.
thanks for stopping by!