Arcade Building Should Be Demolished To Make Room For Future Growth
The Arcade Building was once the beautiful, thriving centerpiece of Jamestown’s central business district.
The building was originally constructed as a commercial center. Such buildings introduced the concept for and were the forerunners to shopping centers and malls. The building has had numerous tenants such as doctors, retailers, printers, clubs, a dance studio and theaters. It was beautiful, with tin ceilings, wonderful wood doorways and a balcony with cast-iron raiiling at the second floor above the central entrance. An interior atrium allowed natural light into the building.
It was once truly a sight to behold.
The Arcade Building has been vacant for years. There have been no businesses to bring a new generation inside the Arcade Building’s walls to appreciate its beauty. There has been no money to keep the building serviceable. The Arcade Building sits lifeless, a rotting hulk blighting Main Street.
Thanks to the Gebbie Foundation, we know it will cost more than $16 million to bring life back to the Arcade Building, cost $1.455 million to stabilize the building and $1,708 million to demolish it. Demolition is the best option.
There was a time when a real effort should have been made to save the Arcade Building, but that time was 30 years ago. Lack of resources and three decades of inactivity have made saving the Arcade Building impossible. It needs so much work that a renovated building will be the Arcade Building in name only. If the Arcade Building was once the beautiful, thriving centerpiece of Jamestown’s central business district, it now serves as a depressing reminder of a bustling past that Jamestown is trying desperately to reclaim.
Rather than reclaim its past, Jamestown needs to create its future. Let that creation begin on the site of the Arcade Building.