From Memories to Master Plans

Maine mill town asks citizens to record their memories at downtown "Heart Spots" as part of the master planning process.

"Biddeford, ME resident Priscille Gagnon remembers having a vanilla Coke at the Puritan Restaurant, going to the movies with her future husband at the Central Theater and sledding down the hill on Pike Street in the winter. And those memories will help determine Biddeford's future.

The non-profit Heart of Biddeford hopes citizens will record memories like that for its upcoming "HeartSpots" project. Organizers posted wooden signs at special places downtown and set up phone lines so residents can call in and tell their stories, which will then be available for others to hear on a website. The stories and memories will inform a new vision for downtown. As part of Biddeford's Heart & Soul Community Planning Process, that vision will be translated into a master plan that emphasizes what citizens want and love about their city."

Thanks to Rebecca Sanborn Stone

Full Story: Biddeford memories to be part of plan



Sad collective memories from East Cleveland

The Biddeford memories reminded me of a different but memories related case in East Cleveland, Ohio, that was published in Los Angeles Times, Column One, August 13, 2005. An abandoned building is (or was) the Wall of Sorrows, a memorial to young victims of violence. The decaying empty building once was home to vandals and drug dealers. The wall of Sorrows consists of a building's wall where neighbors, friends, relatives of the victims leave their handwritten marks on plywood boards. But the City Council was considering demolition, though they said they were sympathetic to the families......."This is not the history that we want to be selling to investors and developers", said City Councilman Gary Norton Jr. "Death is not what companies want to see".

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