Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trading history for cash flow

Could hardly believe my eyes when I read this Texas story:

A city commission granted its highest historic designation to LaGrave Field on Monday, which will allow for property tax breaks if the minor-league ballpark is ever improved.

The Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission voted 8-0 to approve owner Carl Bell's request for the "highly significant endangered" designation, which has typically been granted to much older properties.

The current LaGrave Field, where the Fort Worth Cats play, opened in 2002.

Should Bell want to develop or renovate the stadium, the project would be eligible to receive an exemption on the city's portion of the property taxes ....

A city report said the property met the "cultural significance" criteria for the designation.

The current stadium was built in 2001. It has the 85-year-old dugouts and the base anchors at 2nd and 3rd base from the original field, which was demolished in 1965. Otherwise, there are no historical structures left.

If you have any regard for the importance of historic designation, this story ought to make your skin crawl. It's more about money than history.

(The stadium as of yesterday is now in foreclosure and it is scheduled to be auctioned off in a couple of weeks).

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