The pitcher Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”
In the case of the Stockyards, what’s “gaining” is years of deterioration, rot and some neglect.
Someone will have to spend money to shore up and support the infrastructure of the Stockyards buildings or they will collapse. It will either be the taxpayers of Fort Worth or (if we can be open to a middle ground) a private developer who then must see a return on his or her investment.
I have all the respect in the world for Doug Harman’s collection of Fort Worth antiquities and J’Nell Pate’s historical record of north Fort Worth and other books, but the extreme position they have taken is not how history is preserved.
The Stockyards are in need of a facelift, one that respects the heritage of the area, but which will also provide a safe and economically viable return to the person investing in the facelift.
Middle ground is the key here. There’s absolutely nothing redeeming in the broken shards of the old Swift plant on the hill except for use as an easel for graffiti. But the grand entry to the plant on Northeast 23rd Street with the big “S” is worth saving.
Those who are more hysterical, as a pun on historical, have to start realizing that abandonment is not preservation. Repurposing older buildings, houses and other edifices is the best preservation of our proud history.
MARK R. PRESSWOOD,