Saturday, January 4, 2020

Mayor Cooper made the right decision in not purchasing the Morris Memorial Building.

by Rod Williams - Mayor Cooper decided the city would not move forward with plans to purchase the historically significant Morris Memorial building. The previous administration had planned to purchase the property for $12 million. The Morris Memorial Building is a 65,200-square-foot, five-story building designed in the mid-1920’s by one of the nation's first African American architectural firms. It housed the National Baptist Convention, which published religious materials for African-American Baptist churches.  It is located at 330 Martin Luther King Blvd.

I am in favor of saving of old significant buildings. I am certainly pleased that the Ryman Auditorium and Union Station were not demolished as was once planned. There are lots of beautiful old buildings that were lost that were historically significant that I wish had been saved. While I support incentivizing the saving of old significant buildings, I don't think it is the roll of local government to buy them. Even if there were occasions when a building was so significant that the city government should step in and purchase it, now is not the time. The city is broke and we must prioritize. With a shortage of 911 dispatcher, policemen and firemen, purchasing an old building is a luxury we cannot afford.

Thank you Mayor Cooper for exercising financial discipline and good judgement.

(For more see link,.link.)

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