To the Editor of the Santa Monica Mirror:
Thank you for printing the SM a.r.t. column by Ron Goldman entitled “The People’s Park” in your February 10-16, 2017 edition. Ron Goldman writes for a group of architects who focus on a better tomorrow, which I applaud.
Downtown Santa Monica has become so depressing that I refuse to go there. Although I used to bank at Chase Bank on 4th Street, 4th Street has become such a depressing, dark canyon that I now bank at Chase Bank in Westwood, even though I have to take the Expo and an MTA bus to get there.
I lived in New York when I was in training to become a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, and the park that Ron Goldman described is a takeoff on the SW corner of Central Park where Tavern on the Green is located. It’s a special place to residents of New York, and the park that Ron Goldman describes would be a very special for Santa Monica. It would be like giving lungs to a dying city — a place where people would go for events, concerts, art exhibits, protests, ice skating,, outdoor movies, or to hold events at Tavern on the Green, or meet a friend for coffee or tea, lunch or dinner.
Manhattan is an island of density and tall buildings, but Central Park provides the open space that makes the city livable. The People’s Park would do the same for Santa Monica. I agree with Ron Goldman that this is the most important decision our City Council will ever make.
And since there would be actual lessees connected with the People Park, as Ron Goldman describes it, so it could be paid for with Lease Revenue bonds, as the City Manager recently decided to use to pay for the new sustainable City Service Building scheduled to be built behind City Hall. Underground parking at People’s Park would also produce income to pay the interest on the bonds.
I congratulate the Mirror for publishing the SMa.r.t column, and particularly Ron Goldman’s vision of the People’s Park, which I totally support.
It’s been very sad watching this city die, and I feel that the People’s Park could actually once more breathe life into downtown Santa Monica. It would make a big difference about my feeling of depression when I think about downtown Santa Monica. Right now, when I think of downtown, I think “ugly, dark, and depressing.”
If I add a Tavern on the Green in a park in the center of downtown to that mix, it becomes something to look forward to instead of a place to avoid.
26 year resident of Santa Monica