Your “Some city notables say I Street’s best for court” (Oct. 6, Page A1) begs a different opinion. The heart of Modesto is 10th and J streets or 10th and I streets, depending upon what period of time is being referred to. It most definitely is not 13th, 14th and I.
I street was built extra wide so that it would be our celebration street. That it is. It also has some of our most important cultural buildings. Tenth has historically been our principal retail/office street. It no longer is that, but can be again. I suppose that whether the new courthouse would be considered a cultural structure depends on our definitions. To me, it is not a cultural structure. It is essentially a legal office building.
But all of that is somewhat besides the point. Certainly the new courthouse will benefit the surrounding area. The area around the proposed site on 10th street has about four times as many vacant commercial spaces and run-down buildings as does the I street block formerly owned by The Bee.
I own a mostly vacant building on 10th Street, so yes, I have an interest in the site selection. But I can also be rational. Tenth Street must be revitalized if we are going to bring our downtown back to what we all want it to be. This street will be the corridor between the DoubleTree Hotel, through our business/office district and end at Tuolumne River Regional Park.
We all want to be proud of our downtown. Our downtown will benefit the most with the new courthouse located where the City Council has approved its location, surrounded by G, 9th, H and 10th streets. Whatever our preferences and concerns about the process, let’s support our council in this endeavor and not expose our city to losing the project.