Don’t expand the Wheeler
July 17, 2009
“They came not to love Aspen but to change it.” This will be the epitaph on the gravestone of Aspen. It will be remembered that the people of Aspen were blessed with a great mountain town surrounded by the majesty of God’s creation with a rich heritage represented by many gifts. And the best of the gifts was the Wheeler Opera House. The only request was stewardship – maintain and preserve for the next generation -just don’t screw it up.
And then they came. They didn’t intend to destroy Aspen. They just did not understand the early silver mining days, or the quiet years, or the postwar renaissance. They did not understand or appreciate Aspen’s soul.
And the people will say, “We should have seen it coming. We could have stopped it.” Perhaps, John Prine said it best about so-called “progress” in his song Paradise:
“And the coal miners came with the world’s largest shovels,
and they tortured the timber and they stripped all the land;
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and they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken,
and they wrote it all off as the progress of man.”
Please save The Wheeler from “progress.” Drop the expansion plans and apply immediately to make it a National Historic Landmark. As is.