In his front page story last week ("History Restored," March 2, 2012), Tom Steiner appropriately stated "So often the road to progress includes demolishing the past." Let me flip that around and also point out that striving to preserve meaningful history is often perceived as obstructing progress. Mr. Steiner's story helps debunk that perception, and shows us that maybe improvement and preservation are not necessarily at odds, and in fact can be complementary.
The story gave credit to Maria West of Emsworth for her effort to preserve the two neglected stone pylons that marked the original northern terminus of Ohio River Boulevard. Like many perhaps, when I learned of the Lowries Run Bridge project, I was resigned to the quiet disappearance of those two crumbling vestiges of a different time. “Ghosts of Grandeur,” they have been called.
Sadly, I, like most, would have let them go away -- but not Ms. West. She recognized these rare treasures, knew what to do, enlisted help, and saved them for our children.
So hats off to Ms. West and the Emsworth officials who worked with her, and to The Citizen and Mr. Steiner who recognized a story worth telling. Thank you all.