“Public Space” in the truest sense: Is anyone awake at the University of Arkansas? | Street Jazz

Monday, May 23, 2011

“Public Space” in the truest sense: Is anyone awake at the University of Arkansas?

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Fayetteville owes more to Paula Marinoni than it could ever possibly repay. The tireless advocate for historical preservation in our community has butted heads with so many that one must wonder if she isn’t at least an inch or so shorter than when she returned to Fayetteville years ago.

But when some would have given up in the face of hard-headed resistance, Paula Marinoni has never given up - and won. Not all the time, true, but her track record is impressive.

She has galvanized many in the community, and now she has an issue that may strike at the spiritual heart of Fayetteville.

In a letter she wrote last week, Marinoni wrote about the plans of the University of Arkansas to temporarily take down the historic rock wall at the end of Lafayette Street and then cut into the lawn in order to ramp up the surface. Dump trucks will then have much greater access, the university claims, The UA says that everything will be put back into place in two years, after everything is done.

As Marinoni points out, the UA’s plans weren’t revealed until The Traveler (the student newspaper) was shut down for the summer.

The lawn in front of Old Main is truly “Sacred Ground,” as Marinoni writes in her letter. For generations students and residents of the city of Fayetteville (and the towns surrounding us) have enjoyed walking on the grass, enjoying the same peace that that thousands of others have.

Hell, for generations, folks have been making love (before they put so many lights up) on the lawn. It truly is Sacred Ground.

As one writer pointed out this morning, one also walks along the sidewalks to read the names of those who have gone before. Now the names of those graduates will be in a sort of limbo. What might the UA do, put up a temporary sign with their names on?

The inestimable Aubrey Shepherd, another activist Fayetteville owes a large debt to, has her May 22 press conference on his site:


You know, in a lot of ways, Paula Marinoni really is a whole lot smarter than some of the clumsy folks who draw her. attention. Why can’t they figure that out?


Quote of the Day

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. - Phyllis Theroux


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