The following letter was sent the Carbondale Board of Trustees:
We have listened with interest as the trustees discuss the Thompson Park annexation and development proposal. But in all the well-meaning talk about how to protect Carbondale from having to foot the bill for new development, the real value of the Historic Thompson House as a cultural landmark is being overlooked.
The advantages of a Historic House Museum such as the Thompson House are many. To list just a few:
• A Historic House Museum embraces a culture of learning and a spirit of inquiry. It stands as a community symbol, linking its past to the present.
• It attracts “heritage tourists,” people interested in cultural travel, who in turn support local businesses. According to a 2005 report, Colorado heritage tourists spend approximately $50 per person per day more than other tourists, and they extend their stays in a town by one to two days.
• It offers an opportunity to represent Carbondale to the rest of the world, a facility where we can tell others about our unique community. Please take time to look at the short video called “The Poetry and Politics of a Place” at http://www.civictourism.org/ movie/ civctourweb2.html to see the economic and social vitality that cultural facilities – such as historic house museums – bring to a community.
Every development promises something. Maybe it’s sales-tax revenue, shopping, or housing. But what the Thompson House offers is uniquely Carbondale, and our organization and its members urge you create a way to preserve and share it with the public for generations to come.
Nothing can represent our community better.
Board of Directors
Mt. Sopris Historical Society
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