Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Support the HDC

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

My husband Frank and I purchased a house on Armstrong Street in Eureka Springs about a year ago, having fallen in love with it over two decades ago. We look forward to becoming permanent residents there in 2021. We are coming from McKinney, Texas, where we have lived in its historic and cultural district for 18 years.

Three years ago, our historic preservation officer and HDC were disempowered. The scope and swiftness of changes that have taken place in three short years have been shocking. To some, more freedom from the strict rules upheld by the preservation officer and HDC seemed appealing. Today, citizens who loved and revered the history of McKinney, its buildings, period architectural styles of homes built here, stories and legends, are deeply saddened to see so much of what they cherished disappear in favor of “progress.” 

Developers from out of town came in and bought up available real estate, homesites, and some of the buildings on our historic square. We began to notice that historic homes that were intact one week, were gone the next, replaced with modern McMansions and other styles of homes that had little to no resemblance to those once held to standards of integrity by HDC guidelines and rules.

Frank and I so value the HDC in Eureka Springs. We support you in your efforts to educate the public through direct means such as town hall-style meetings about the protection provided by HDC, allowing citizens opportunity to ask questions, such as, “Would demolition be allowed?” And if so, “How would it be supervised and regulated if there were no HDC?” These are pertinent questions I wish I had known to ask before McKinney changed so drastically.

But in any case, we are so looking forward to settling into our cottage on Armstrong Street, meeting more friends and being active in the community in whatever ways we can help. 

Thank you each one for your service.

Sincerely,

Brenda Waggoner