I, too, watched the brief expose of the conditions in historic downtown Huntington Beach at the joint Council-Planning Commission study session on Jan. 25. While the graphic display was new and vivid, the information was old. These structural problems have existed, with knowledge of the city staff, for a number of years.
I am encouraged that our new city manager, Paul Cook, is recommending restoration projects along Main Street instead of automatic demolition. This represents a positive, sensitive approach to correction of intolerable physical conditions.
There are wiser alternatives than demolition, which is an irreversible solution, often regretted after the emotional heat of an issue has dissipated. We have already lost too many of our important historical structures, including the irreplaceable Golden Bear at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, and the Holly Sugar offices at Gothard and Garfield streets.
Consideration must be given to preservation of the rest of them to retain the sense of place so important to the character of Huntington Beach.