March 25, 2009

Fools Rush in: Taking the time to make the right Choices for Bellingham Waterfront Development

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With 137 acres of waterfront to use as a palette for the Bellingham's new oceanscape, you'd figure that the endless possibilities would excite and ingite the masses. But, just as the camel was the product of a committee, with both the City and the Port of Bellingham working collaboratively, the people on the street should get ready for more deliberation than the Scopes Trial, with a murkier verdict.

Which is brilliant. Venice developed over the course of a lot longer than the time we're giving ourselves here, and it still floods. Boardwalks like Boulevard Park, that you remember for a lifetime might need almost as long to plan; ocean-side parks like Marine Park, that we pass down to our kids should start with architectural design that was passed through generations of architects.

Have you ever gone on a city tour in Europe where the architecture is more than 400 years old? Those buildings that draw a picture of the city they're in span over governments toppling, changes in history. To know that the statues, structures, parks, and seascapes weren't just the product of a few groups of people, but rather a few generations collaborating to elevate the history of Bellingham, sounds like a better destination than a quick cab ride to a marina and waterfront condos.

The existing structures on this acreage we're to work with were built in a short amount of time, for the short term gain of a few. Maybe we could teach our kids that we learned our lesson, and we're taking our time.

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