Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Proposal or Two

A few weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor of the Rome News-Tribune. It was in regard to the property that has recently been bulldozed at the former site of the Holiday Inn (later Ramada Inn) at the corner of our street and Turner-McCall Blvd. This pic shows the site and its view. The Oostanaula River and the Riverwalk are to the left. The utility poles are not quite so intrusive on the view from the site itself.

Letter to the Editor

A Proposal or Two

Some Rome restauranteur or developer is missing a great opportunity to open the signature Rome restaurant. Call it Top O’ the River, Clocktower Inn, Ridge Ferry Place, whatever. The beautiful view of downtown from a well-designed restaurant on the site of the old Ramada Inn would be a great enticement, with outstanding food, for Romans and visitors alike. The Clocktower, County Courthouse, Library, Church spires, river, and levee make a lovely landscape.

Please, developers, don’t waste this beautiful site on fast-food or office supplies or other cookie cutter franchises. This spot is made for something special. It is historic as well as beautiful. Chief John Ross had his home very near this spot of high ground in Cherokee days and a beautiful Victorian home stood here before and after Desoto was annexed into Rome. Thank goodness that ugly sixties hotel is gone. Let's replace it with something that enhances our city.

A several story hotel (with architecture to harmonize with other downtown buildings) with rooms designed to take in the view and a restaurant on top would be a good choice as well. It's close to downtown, the Braves stadium, Barron Stadium, the Forum, Ridge Ferry Park, the Tennis Center, the hospital complex, and many churches.

Now, to the four franchise restaurants going up across the Oostanaula at the old Chevy location: please give access to the riverwalk and take advantage of your river location. Don’t just turn your ugly dumpsters and loading docks to the river! Put a deck out back. Build steps down to the riverwalk. The rivers are why Rome is here. Use them. Promote them. Make them help your business.

And while we’re working at the site, city fathers, how about redoing the fill on the bank to raise the riverwalk -- it floods frequently at that spot -- and landscape the steep man-made slope. Give walkers and bikers access from the riverwalk to the Turner-McCall bridge.

Terrell Shaw

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