Do your part to revitalize downtown by supporting Academy Center

    A recent article in the Box Elder News Journal announcing the contract for management of the Academy Center generated a surprising number of comments on our Facebook page. It was  accompanied by a stunning interior photo.  Most expressed excitement for the building. “I'm really excited for all the possibilities...so beautiful,” read one. Another person wrote, “Really wonderful to have this addition to Brigham City.” And from several others, “It is so beautiful.”
    There were, however, other comments, such as —“Really, in Brigham City. Wow.” And we have had numerous conversations with downtown merchants, property owners, restaurateurs, and visitors who have a great affection for this quaint little community, but cannot seem to view it from any perspective other than the past.

    Historic Downtown Brigham City is a 501c(3) non-profit established at the encouragement of local and county officials to assist in revitalizing historic downtown. We have a lot of work to do. But if our focus is to bring life back into the historic commercial center of the city, we cannot do so by looking backwards.
    Those who opposed the project did so on ideological grounds, often voicing something akin to, “it shouldn't even be here” or “it never should have been renovated.” Regardless of whether or not there is legitimacy in those claims—and we are not here to argue that one way or another—the fact of the matter is this: the Academy Center building and adjacent restaurant are here today. They are going to open and it portends great change in Brigham City, so long as it is managed properly.
    Like other main street projects,  we wrestle with the question of how to revitalize historic downtown in a way that preserves our history. Our hope is to add more restaurants, retail shopping, and art venues downtown. We have all the building blocks in place; historic infrastructure, city and county support, and a few brave merchants willing to duke it out in some tough economic times.
    And now we have the Academy Center. The influx of visitors into our community will benefit everyone with increased economic viability for business,  increased tax revenues for government, and an elevated cultural experience for the community.
    We can’t change history. Let’s put past missteps in the past, and put our support behind this wonderful and historically significant facility, if for no other reason, than to make sure that the money that has been spent doesn't go to waste.
    Let’s get out and support the new Academy Center. If you haven’t seen it, you should really take the time for a visit. It really is beautiful, and yes, it really is in Brigham City.