Imagine, but Remember, Olympia

by Mark Derricott, editor

The City of Olympia is currently updating its Comprehensive Plan, which is the primary document by which the city accommodates the region’s population growth over the next ten years.  The city has implemented a broad outreach effort in order to elicit feedback and input from the community.  You may have heard about it–Imagine Olympia.

The city has already conducted the first of two downtown focus meeting and more recently, two High Density Corridor meetings, that cover the main arterials on the east and west side–Martin Way, and Harrison.  As history buffs know well, there are a many Heritage Houses on the corridors, not to mention buildings of historical significance in the downtown core.  Many of these buildings have stories to tell which are may be completely lost on the every day passersby now and even more so in the future.

The tension is obvious: some, perhaps many, of these houses and buildings will be lost as they are replaced with higher density, modern structures.  As Olympia moves further away from its founding and as generations come of age who no longer feel the same sense connection to historical structures, the stories of these buildings become obscure.  As difficult as it is to see an old house demolished, it is tragic when the stories about them disappear.  

Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan will stress connections to its past and will try to pay due homage to its history, but we can only do this accurately with your help.  Therefore, I urge you to get involved in the process and consider this an invitation to share your memories of your lives and memories in Olympia.  We cannot hope to maintain a tightly-knit community without our connection to our past.  Please write us, call us, or otherwise contact and let us know what you remember.  We’ll all be thankful for your effort.

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