As a former resident of Forks, I always enjoy reading the Forum
to see what the community is up to. For example, I am very pleased to know Peninsula College has a more vested interest in providing educational opportunities to the West End with purchase of the bank building. I consider this a huge plus for the community.
Another real positive is the planning and development of an Arts Center to be located at the corner of Forks Avenue & Division. The only question I would ask, if this is not already written in stone, is about the architectural style of the new center. It appears to be very modern, you know sort of like a Mini Metro Center.
Recently my husband, Norm and I took a trip through central and eastern Oregon and passed through the little community of Sisters. It was the end of September and the weather was inclement even there. Still the streets were saturated with people walking, visiting, shopping, eating … in other words … spending lots of money and having a great time enjoying their visit.
Sisters, like Leavenworth, and Winthrop and Joseph, Ore., are all themed on historical foundations. In fact, I have never visited any of these communities when I didn’t witness vitalizing tourism at play. Even grocery and hardware stores complement the appropriate architectural style.
And while theme towns seem somewhat gimmicky perhaps, they also serve as magnets to draw people in to stop, linger, appreciate and enjoy the unique qualities a community and region has to offer.
I honestly believe people coming out of urban areas want to see something unique, not more urban development. Maybe it’s just the need to broaden one’s perspective.
For years many of us bantered around the idea of a theme for Forks.
Frankly, I think our resource and pioneer-based economy and culture is something to be very proud of. Couple that with the rich Native American culture and heritage of our area, and as years pass, I am convinced it will be increasingly important to showcase our unique and beautiful part of the world.
If this building goes up as shown, it will add to the general milieu of hodge podge, rather than complementing and pulling the community together toward a theme that enhances our heritage and pioneer roots. Is it too late to consider making this building a cornerstone of a new heritage-based image for Forks?
E. Renee Renninger,