No, I haven’t forgotten the plight of The Book House – the up-to-date word on the street is that no one really knows how things stand. Several letters to the editors have been sent, and published, in both the Webster-Kirkwood Times and STL Post. We’ve rallied, we’ve attended a meeting of Rock Hill’s Historic Preservation Commission – all of whom, I might add, are sympathetic to our cause.
The Rock Hill City Council, however, continues to be rather lukewarm. We have quiet support from the mayor and at least two aldermen. The city administrator, Mr. Liyeos, has been quoted as saying that a “high end” storage unit is preferable to the current condition of the property.
I have this to say to Mr. Liyeos:
Does not the city of Rock Hill have the ability to enforce regulations? To cite the property owner for, say, lack of landscaping and a deplorable parking lot? Do you, personally and for your city, have any inkling of plan or design concepts? Are there not enforcement officers, or at least one, who report to city hall?
Allowing property to just sit and stagnate seems counterproductive to your vision, to that of your city, or of any city. And your solution is simply to bulldoze the property? Why not administer ordinances that are already in place? Why not call upon Rex Stahl to take care of his property?
And why in the world would anyone want to demolish a 150-year-old building when so much well, crap, is visible on Manchester Road? I think there are probably a few other sites that could be utilized for a storage unit – I’ve driven that stretch a few times recently, and quite frankly, I’m relieved that I don’t have to do it more often. Yes, Mr. Liyeos, there are eyesores in your city, but those don’t include The Book House.
Is all the media attention and effort thus far merely beating a dead horse? I don’t think so, in spite of a recent article that stated, in the title, “Book House Going Out of Print.” No one ever said this store was closing!
Write, rally, call Rock Hill; contact the developer, Bill Bowman, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (586) 703-9882. Sign the petition and pass it around – and contribute to The Book House’s Indiegogo campaign. Perhaps the house itself can be saved, and The Book House will continue for many, many years to come; or, perhaps, Michelle can move her business to a city that values both history and books, as well as small business – a city that doesn’t cater to large companies at the expense of the independents.
NOTE: there is a Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, May 21.