• 59°

Editorial: Embrace new lights at Bell Tower Green Park

Developers of downtown’s Bell Tower Green Park have added lights to the structure as a means to celebrate special occasions. And believe it or not, the addition is viewed as divisive by some.

As one might expect, seeing the lights in action that prompted a range of emotions. Bell Tower Green flipped on the lights earlier this month, and photos of the lights in action appeared with a story published on 1A Sunday (“A brighter Bell Tower could be used the commemorate special events, show solidarity”). For some, it’s tacky, ruins downtown’s historic character and is a waste of money. It’s a welcomed addition for another group. We suspect most people will fall somewhere between those two.

When the Historic Preservation Commission in May 2019 OK’d the lighting, it had reasonable explanations to accompany their support. It’s worth reflecting on those now.

“I think it would be odd to have the tower itself lit and then fizzle out to not being able to see the spires at the top,” said HPC member Steve Cobb. “This kind of finishes the job.”

Member Acey Worthy said the lighting would accent the architectural structure of the building.

“I think the Bell Tower and the Bell Tower Green are going to be great for the community, and I see nothing in the lighting proposed today that adversely affects any around us,” John Schaffer said.

Editorials that we write weigh in on controversial and divisive issues from time to time, but this is not one of them, particularly if the lights are a limited occurrence and as long as lights aren’t rapidly flashing like a disco between different colors. For those who dislike the lights, consider that roughly $12 million in private donations is turning a city block previously dedicated mostly to parking into a beautiful central park.

They’ll add a nice accent to events like Pops at the Post, the Cheerwine Festival and other major happenings downtown. How about a nice evening walk in the park at Christmastime with a lit Bell Tower in the background? It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where a pop of color could make things more enjoyable.

Salisbury can simultaneously embrace its history of preservation while finding new ways to display it. Colored lights are a welcome addition to the Bell Tower and should be put to use on a limited basis when the park finally opens, currently projected to be early 2021.

Comments

Elections

Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan

Local

Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project

Business

11 locals will make up Empire Redevelopment Task Force

Local

New finance director excited to prove himself, continue on path set by predecessor

Coronavirus

County health officials report four new COVID-19 deaths

Elections

Trump promotes health care ‘vision’ at stop in Charlotte but gaps remain

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with stealing mom’s dog

Business

Rowan County hires Howden as new finance director

Local

Exhibit about Jim Crow-era travel on display at NC Transportation Museum

Elections

GOP elections board members resign over absentee settlement

Crime

Drive-by shooting injures 24-year-old Salisbury man

Crime

Highway Patrol: Vehicle fled after striking, killing pedestrian on Camp Road

Local

Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Business

Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events

Nation/World

Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’

Education

Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event

Education

Shoutouts

Elections

Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race

Business

Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign

Education

School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation

Education

Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children

Education

Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester

Nation/World

NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash

Nation/World

2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests