Cityscrapes: A historic argument for a streetcar vote
Published: April 16, 2014
The fair would also produce a “Latin-American Institute,” with the hope that the Federal government would build it. And there would be a “military training facility for our neighbors to the South.”
The Fair did indeed succeed in producing (after public votes) a convention center, a since-demolished arena and the Tower of the Americas. But it never yielded quite the crossroads of the Americas that Sinkin initially envisioned. And without the revenue to manage the transition from fair site to a full part of the city, it has seen repeated public efforts to reshape the fair grounds into a vital and functional space.
We need to remember that promises don’t always work out. Our political and civic leaders need to understand that controversy and public debate can be functional and necessary, so that the sales pitches and the promises are subject to serious scrutiny and a healthy dose of realism. And if we can’t find the people willing to put their own money and effort into a project, we ought to ask how good a deal it really is.