Cumberland Times-News

March 3, 2013

Cumberland has lots of history; it doesn’t need an eyesore

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Why do the powers that be insist that this eyesore — the Footer Dye Works — should be a landmark?

Believe me, when passing motorists on Interstate 68 see that hulking slum right next to the Interstate, their first thoughts are not “How quaint” or “I bet that place is historic.”

It looks exactly like what it is: a boarded up abandoned building that doesn’t look to be structurally sound. Cumberland is a railroad town. Transients have hopped trains and rode the rails pretty much since the beginning of the railroad era.

So a big broken-down building right beside the interstate and near the tracks probably seems pretty appealing to them.

People wonder why the shops at Canal Place are failing. Seems pretty obvious. Tear down the eyesore and perhaps some revitalization might actually occur. People wonder why Perkins restaurant pulled out.

Although I certainly don’t have all the facts, I do know I wouldn’t locate a business next to an abandoned, boarded-up building that might contain any multitude of unknown dangers.

If the building is removed, I severely doubt it will leave a gaping hole in Cumberland’s illustrious history. There’s tons of American history right here in our town. Believe me, the town will survive without the esteemed Footer Dye Works.

If the real issue is demolition I propose this: Let the citizens tear it down. Nothing relieves stress better than the simple act of dismantling something. I doubt you would have too much trouble finding people willing to come in and tear it down. Even if that location only ever becomes a dirt parking lot it will still be serving more of a purpose than it does now.

Our town has plenty of landmarks and places of historical significance. What we need is to revitalize what we have now. We don’t need to put a fresh coat of paint on old reminders of what used to be.

Jeff Purbaugh

Cumberland