Honeymoon begins for old YMCA owners

Published 12:44 am Saturday, March 10, 2012

It’s always easy to criticize. Trust us, we’ve done it quite often in this space, but we’ve worked to ensure that our criticism has a solid foundation and provides a means to an end.

When it comes to the editorials we’ve penned relating to the old YMCA building, its owner and previous owners, those responsible and those who should be held responsible, our main goal was to push those involved to find a solution — once and for all.

For far too long the building sat crumbling as city leaders, historical preservationists, church leaders and private business people bounced the issue of the building’s condition back and forth in a terrible game of architectural tennis.

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One side would blame the other while the other side would quickly return the blame.

And all along, the only loser in this game was the building and Selma’s history.

Now, the building has new owners as the Selma-Dallas Historic Preservation Society has completed its purchase of the building from Tom Bolton.

The transaction was completed recently and now the group, who had longed complained about Bolton’s ownership, now has the responsibility.

Let’s see what they can do with it.

As we have said many times, those who own historic buildings have more than a bank note that comes with the building, they have a note — a mortgage — with the community.

They have a responsibility to preserve and protect the architectural history in Selma.

And, unfortunately, as we have seen, that responsibility is a burden far too heavy to carry for some.

There are buildings that have owners who have neither the want nor the ability to protect the historical jewels they are responsible for.

We cannot afford to lose our history. We cannot afford to idly sit by and continue to play games with the history we hold so dear.

We applaud the society for its purchase, and look forward to seeing what it accomplishes.