Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss Chapter Two?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Three?
Chapter Three Continued
Sonny cleared his throat. “Now, before you get too shocked by what
we’re proposing, just know we’re estimating a huge rate of return for what
this new commercial center would bring to your town. Bradley’s passing
out some of our spec sheets on what Revival estimates on the profits
Golden could make with the influx of tourists.”
“Not to mention,” Adam added, “this new design includes a significant
amount of recycled material. Going green is in.”
I snorted, and Adam shot me a look. I looked at my fingernails to avoid
his gaze, but I caught Tori grinning in my direction.
Tori shook her head when Bradley reached her, not even wanting to
take a sheet. “We didn’t ask you to come in and bulldoze half our town,”
she said. “We wanted a bid on updating the Clock tower, museum, and
Dustin took Tori’s sheet for her and placed it in front of her. “Before you
all get upset with Revival, I should probably admit my part in this,” Dustin
said, opening his briefcase. He handed papers to the other committee
members. “This is the preliminary inspection report on the clock tower
which you will see has been deemed potentially unsafe. You all know we
had to close it to the public last year due to a leak, and it’s yet to open,
except for those working on the clock. It’s been a nightmare. While the
structure can be reinforced and brought back up to the code, I don’t see
“Dustin,” Ted muttered. “That Clock tower holds a lot of value.”
“What value?” Dustin questioned.
“Of the sentimental sort,” Ted said. “You know how this town is.”
“I swear, Ted if you start with that old superstition—”
“He’s right, Dustin,” Sharron agreed. “Old town legend says Golden will
only be prosperous for as long as the Clock tower is running.”
Dustin huffed. “I thought you were above that sort of nonsense,
“I’m not one to jump on board with superstition,” Bonnie said. “I’d like to
hear what Revival is proposing. That tower is an eyesore.”
“Which is why we wanted to renovate it,” Tori said.
“And the most financially forward mindset is a complete overhaul of our
town center that a group like Revival could do in record time,” Dustin said.
I cringed and bit my lip. The committee seemed divided. Ted and Tori
were eager to end Revival’s proposal to demolish half the town center.
Dustin was clearly the idea man behind it, and Bonnie looked intrigued by
the possibility. Sharron was harder to read as she remained silent,
studying the charts.
For the next half hour, I sat in silence, listening to these men talk about
the ridiculous expense of such a venture that the little town of Golden
likely could not swing. But I had to admit they did know what they were
doing. They put in a bid just over the initial budget the committee had
given them to work with; they knew they’d be able to squeeze more out of
them later if needed. Their plan called for a completely new building for the
museum, rezoning of current shops, new roads, and no more Clock tower.
It made my skin crawl.
And the worst part of it was they seemed to be winning over the other
“We truly appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into this,” Tori said.
“But we do have another company here, and we’d like to hear from them
before we go into deliberation.”
The gentleman stepped aside, smiling happily at how well their pitch had
gone while I made my way to the front.
I set up my easel, bypassing the big dramatic reveal and propping up my
large posterboard concept. Sharron smiled, and, one by one, smiles crept
on everyone’s faces apart from Dustin’s.
I cleared my throat. “As a Golden native, I know how important history is
to this town. The Clock tower especially. I can recall numerous fun
evenings spent there as a teenager for various fall festivals and art shows. I
was sad to hear it’s been closed to the public for so long, but I’m thrilled at
the possibility of working alongside you to restore it to full health. I have
worked with a lot of commercial shopping centers in LA, and I understand
Revival’s thought, but I must argue there is still value in the historical
significance of these precious sites.”
“What have you added to the tower, Hope?” Bonnie asked. “Did you
extend the building?”
“Yes,” I began. “In addition to updating the tower itself, giving it fresh
paint and a new color scheme, new roofing, new shingles, and bringing it
back up to code, I thought to add a small recreational area that could be
accessed at the entrance.” I handed packets to each committee member,
avoiding eye contact with Dustin.
“This is going to be the largest expense, but I truly believe it’s worth it,” I
continued. “Here, we can have a new public event space that incorporates
an additional bit of our town’s history. I’ve been in touch with the old
minister of St. Mary’s Cathedral. It burned down nine years ago, but a
number of the pews were saved, and the current owners are willing to
donate them to be used as part of the interior décor.”
“Oh, wow!” Ted said, excited by the design sketch I had on the third page
of my pamphlet.
“My goal is to bring as much of that small-town charm out as possible.
You’ll see on page six I’ve printed out some of the paintings currently on
display at the museum. Ones I believe could be moved for décor in the
new event center, placed behind glass displays, those specific to the Clock
tower and the church our town lost.”
“Hey, that’s my grandfather,” Sharron said, pointing at one of the old
portraits. “The museum’s had that thing in storage instead of on display
for years now.”
“Yes,” I said. “And while my plan for the museum does have a small
extension, I wanted to spread that town history to the Clock tower as well.
There’s a lot of value to maintaining historically important locations.”
“Yes,” Dustin said. “But the influx we’d get from the shopping center
concept is much more impressive.”
“I don’t know, Dustin,” Ted muttered. “Hope’s research is showing a
good number of benefits as well… and there’s a lot less financial risk here if
I might add.”
The committee members whispered between themselves as I
continued. I showed them my design ideas for the museum and the miner
statue area, including putting in a pavilion and picnic area. Dustin argued
at every turn; he was clearly hoping on Revival stealing the show, and he
seemed thrown off at how solid a plan I had.
At the end of the meeting, I was glad I’d come. Knowing the other
architectural group wanted to demolish half my hometown’s historical
district had stirred something inside me. The anxiety of being back home
eased off me and was replaced with newfound vigor.
Not my town, I thought with bitter resentment building.
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