Green spaces and the open-air market are better options than keeping the Loop skyscrapers

Regarding Lee Bey’s April 3 column, “A Federal Matter: The US Government Shouldn’t Destroy Loop Skyscrapers in the Name of Security”:

The buildings at 202 and 220 South State Street have been vacant for more than a decade. The General Services Administration made the decision to leave these buildings vacant, and with the support of many Federal agencies who have deemed them a security threat to other nearby Federal buildings, they will remain so. Their position will not change over time and the buildings will remain vacant in perpetuity until they become a security hazard, in which case they will be demolished.

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Rather than let decades pass and continue to see this part of State Street suffer both commercially and residentially because of this dead space, we have the opportunity to be proactive and empower the community to engage now. with agencies to use this space for its best and highest purpose.

The area surrounding the buildings has changed over the years. There are only businesses living in this corridor. Families moved downtown and a real community developed. With this, therefore, has a need for open space. Demolition is inevitable, and a green space and perhaps an outdoor market would be a much better use for a vibrant community than a dead strip of State Street inviting crime and violence.

A living city must develop. Comments on this should be sought from residents, the Chicago Loop Neighbors Association, the Loop Alliance and Ald. Office of Brendan Reilly.

Shannon Gross, Loop

Give statues to the Italians

The fact that the city’s monuments committee recommended that the statues of Christopher Columbus should not be publicly displayed on city property is one reason for allowing the statues to be donated to the Italian community.

Casa Italia, Stone Park‘s 17-acre center for Italian culture, heritage and historic preservation, is the perfect solution. Located near Lake Street and Mannheim Road, Casa Italia is home to many Italian organizations, the Italian American Veterans Museum and the Florence Bartolomei Roselli Library, as well as several museums dedicated to different regions of Italy and Sicily. It also provides translation services and Italian-related services.

The statues would be a welcome addition and would receive the respect and historic recognition that the Italian community feels they so deserve.

CJ Martello, Pullman

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