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Monday, October 19, 2015

Preservation Monday—The Little Town That Couldn't

Corruption in Boulder City, Nevada, wins again.


first aid station_hoover dam construction 1931


And, no one will do anything about it.

This Wednesday, the Boulder City Planning Commission will go through the motions of hearing an appeal by the Historic Boulder City Foundation to save the historic Six Companies hospital from demolition.  

The HBCF, founded by a young man with visionary ideas, will be represented by a classmate of mine from high school, an appellate lawyer who volunteered to help the organization for the same reasons that Steve and I—and many others, did.  It was a worthy cause, and a land swap was under discussion.

I would not have wasted my time with a local skirmish.  Boulder City had joined the historic preservation movement, and there was growing concern among its community leaders that one of the town's most historically significant buildings was about to be bulldozed and replaced by a dozen new nondescript homes, the  kind we see on every corner of every unimaginative new development in Las Vegas.  

For those with a shared history in Boulder City, it was an opportunity to bring change to a town that seemed ready for an infusion of new energy and ideas.  Whether historic preservation takes hold in Boulder City or not, it is time for the corrupt old guard to move over and make room for the next generation of civic leaders.  Cronyism at City Hall cannot block the progression of those who will be running the town when they are all drooling into their plastic cups.

Three weeks ago, I stopped hearing from the HBCF.  The chairman merged the organization with an arts group, and although Steve and I are advisory board members, no one contacted us before that decision was made.  There was no vote.  So, I don't know if the HBCF exists, or not.  

The elegance of historic preservation and the gritty determination of a grassroots community movement has been replaced by a comedy night and a plant sale.

Well, it was a good idea, and the opportunity remains to build an effective organization with the courage and conviction to stand up to corrupt city managers.  

I still believe that the dignity of Boulder City's past is worth the fight to save what is left.   

Boulder City government website

Historic Boulder City Foundation website