Editorial - What's your solution?

March 18, 1998

Downtown Hagerstown has a problem, and we need readers' help in solving it. At the end of this editorial, we'll tell you how to provide input, but read this section first:

The Baldwin House, built on Washington Street in 1881, once was home to a thriving group of retail stores that drew customers from all over the county. Now it's an empty hulk, with more than 60,000 square feet of empty, deteriorating space. At least two plans to renovate the property - one involving state government offices, the other for luxury apartments - have fallen through, because of financing problems.

Last month, some members of the city council looked at another option. The building would be renovated for the police and fire departments and the existing police station on Burhans Boulevard would be sold to help pay for renovations.

Another possibility raised by Councilman Bill Breichner: Give the complex to Washington County Health Systems, Inc., which is looking for a larger complex to house the Potomac Street Community Health Clinic.


There is no cheap way to go on this project. Even demolition could cost $1 million, says City Engineer Bruce Johnston.

What do you think should be done?

Tell us, in a few short paragraphs - in less than 50 words, please - how you feel and we'll print the results next Wednesday, March 25.

The idea of getting readers to react quickly to topics in the news was suggested by The Herald-Mail's Editorial Page Advisory Committee, a group of citizens who meet monthly to critique what happens on this page, and to make suggestions about how Herald-Mail should handle a variety of subjects, including letters, columnist and reader letters.

To provide input, please send your letters to: Quick Comments, c/o Editorial Editor, The Herald-Mail, 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown, Md., 21740. To have a realistic chance of appearing, we need your comments by Monday, March 23, at the latest. Letters suggesting possible future topics are also welcome.

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