The Garden City Telegram
1/4/2014
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Windsor way

Every fundraiser matters in revitalization effort.

Communities should understand and celebrate their history.

One outstanding part of Garden City's fascinating past sits on Main Street — a majestic, four-story structure that's long drawn attention in the downtown district, and stands ready to begin a new chapter.

The Finney County Preservation Alliance has pursued various fundraisers in working toward revitalization of the former Windsor Hotel, to include Windsor tours, a recent concert and the sale of Windsor-related items.

For example, supporters of revitalization efforts may purchase steps up the Windsor's grand staircase commemorating a special individual or event. Another nice offering has come in a 2014 calendar featuring historic Windsor Hotel photos.

Along with garnering financial support, such efforts also increase awareness of the needed renovation of the Windsor.

Local residents soon should see signs of progress toward that goal at a property positioned to offer housing, retail shops and offices, meeting areas and restaurant and banquet facilities.

Thanks to a nearly $872,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation, work should get under way soon, with bids opened in early January.

Plans call for a new skylight and roof; a metal facade across the front; removing downstairs floor joists and the wood floor, and replacing the floor with concrete; replacing columns in two middle sections; and replacing the presidential suite floor.

Future work also calls for renovation of the lobby area and cupola, a project made possible by a $180,000 Lois K. Walls Foundation grant and set to begin following the structural renovation.

The preservation alliance's fundraisers may be smaller in scope than the grant awards, but all such endeavors matter if for no other reason than to raise awareness of the need to save a building that promises to be a catalyst in generating more activity downtown.

While the preservation alliance has been successful in landing grant support, its work is far from finished, as evidenced by continued efforts to build still more grassroots support.

Give the organization credit for pushing forward with an interesting mix of ventures intended to support and spotlight an important part of Finney County's past and future.