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taylorbeeler - 9 years ago
 I was born in Chillicothe, graduated from Huntington High School, and I now attend Morehead State University. Somewhere along my walk in life, I discovered that I have a passion for government, and to me, that is the ultimate way of helping others.

         I was selected and sponsored by the American Legion to attend the prestigious Buckeye Boys State. I was elected as a mayor, whilst attending Buckeye Boys State, and successfully demonstrated the duties that such an office requires. I started an on-campus non-profit organization at Morehead State University called Strive. The purpose of which is to reach out to people in need in southern Ohio and Central & Eastern Kentucky. I have interned at the Ohio House of Representatives this past summer and will continue doing so in the near future. I was also chosen to represent the United States at One Young World, a diplomatic summit in London, UK. My experiences have taught me many invaluable lessons along the way. One of which, is that helping people is what I have been called to do, and is what I will continue to do for the rest of my life. Which brings me to the purpose in me writing this article.        

          Downtown Chillicothe is a beautiful place, rich in history. Being Ohio's first state capital, it is full of historical landmarks. Our city motto is “Explore Our Past, Be Our Future.” With those six immortal words in mind, there is an issue that needs to be discussed for our past to be explored, and for us to be in the future. This issue in mind that I want to discuss is the Carlisle Building. While it is historically invaluable, its continual construction has left it looking more like an old abandoned eyesore than a historical landmark. 

         Many see the restoration project as a lost cause. Especially after the November 2009 election, when 76.27% of Chillicothe voted to block a tax increase to fund the restoration of the privately owned Carlisle Building, which essentially left the building as an empty shell, with no clear direction on what will become of it. Now, people have begun entertaining ideas of what should be done to the building. Which brings me to the apogee of this article:

                   I have a proposal: a proposal to ultimately improve commerce in downtown Chillicothe, and to bring in more tourism, and beautification to the downtown area.

         You see, the lack of parking in downtown Chillicothe is a problem not only for citizens trying to run errands in downtown, but the lack of parking deters business from many downtown shops. In fact the overall suffering of downtown commerce has been very palpable in the past years. If there were a small, modern looking, multi-story parking garage sitting on the current site of the Carlisle Building, this would attract more citizens to the area, as well as tourists wanting to take a peak at our culture, history, and wonderful shops located in historic downtown.
         Many will argue that the loss of the Carlisle Building will hurt tourism far much more than a parking garage will attract it. To those who feel this way, I would have this to say. The Carlisle Building's rich history will never be forgotten, however its presence is a hindrance on the aesthetics of downtown Chillicothe because of its half-constructed appearance. And because of the fact that future construction projects are on indefinite hold, it has no purpose in downtown, other than being a historical landmark.
I feel that building a monument to commemorate the rich history of the Carlisle Building near the site would be a wonderful way to remember it, so that Chillicothians for generations to come can “Explore Our Past”. And in its place the parking garage will encourage business in downtown, as well as provide citizens with something functional in the Carlisle Building's place, so that we can continue to “Be Our Future.”

Maybe the Garage Itself can serve as a monument, we can call it the Carlisle Garage. We could, in the future, attach modern LED electronic billboards, advertising business, further promoting downtown. It could be our own hometown "time square"-type place located in the heart of downtown. It could be attraction in itself. 

          I drove down Paint St. tonight, to see if the size of the Carlisle Building is of size to accommodate a small garage, and I believe that this small garage would be well enough in size. 

CitizenKane - 2009/12/21 - 19:23:39
This is a great suggestion and I think there are many that would agree. The next question that needs answered is how is this to be funded? As you have seen from my comments before. I feel that the city should keep it hands off. The only way I can ever see them getting involved is fining the current owners until its fixed or forcing a sale to another investor. That investor would then have the choice of a creating a parking garage. As we have seen the people of Chillicothe do not wish to have their money used for this building either way. Had a vote been taken on the AEP building it would have most likely went the same way. However those elected to represent did not serve the interest of the people. This has been the case many times. I would however like to invite you to represent our town when you graduate. Maybe you could become the Mayor of our town. I really like your ideas.
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clistguy - 2009/12/21 - 19:50:53
I definitely think we need to focus our attention on the downtown merchants and how they struggle due to lack of parking. One location in particular is where Portabella's was. That spot has an awesome layout and tons of room but doesn't survive because of lack of parking. Like someone said before, there could also be commercial spaces placed on the bottom level of the parking garage as to restore some of the businesses that lost a home when the carlisle fire took place. The rent for these spaces could also supply a means to fund some or all of the project.
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A_Blinkin - 2009/12/22 - 00:26:16
How could people still argue that the loss of the Carlisle Building would hurt our tourism? This building is nothing but a dead restoration project! Does anyone remember just a few years back when the Big Bear grocery store closed and Chillicothe refused to remove the huge bear sign at the entrance to Central Center because it had "Historical Meaning". Then before you know it, it's gone! Did this hurt our tourism numbers? I think not....We just moved on like we would with anything that comes and goes. Well it's time to move on again and eliminate the eyesore known as the Carlisle Building. When people see a new parking structure or whatever may take it's place, then they can dig into Chillicothe's past and research the Carlisle Building as we do with so many things like the old grain elevators that used to sit where there is a small parking lot at the entrance to Yoctangee Park, or even the old Big Bear sign (which now sits in the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati). Change is a good thing and I believe that the majority of people will agree.
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TTburger1 - 2009/12/22 - 22:31:13
Taylor Beeler for Mayor!!!!
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taylorbeeler - 2009/12/23 - 21:37:31
I just feel as if this is an opportunity that we can't pass up. Thanks for the positive feedback yet again, guys. I love support for the way I feel. I submitted this article to the Gazette as a letter to the editor, maybe this idea can get city-wide support. Taylor Beeler for Mayor? Got to wait and see.
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taylorbeeler - 2009/12/24 - 16:39:51
This article is todays Letter to the Editor in the Chillicothe Gazette. Mixed feelings have been expressed on there via comments, as well as a few insults to my intelligence. But as I have came to learn in politics: The most extreme voices are usually the ones heard. I'm not discouraged with this idea.
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JAG - 2009/12/24 - 18:12:45
Congratulations Taylor for having your article pubilshed in the Chillicothe Gazette!!!!
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