Rounds of applause to Cindy May of James City County for so deftly posting a stop sign in front of the Goodwin Plaza proposal. Her reasons why Goodwin Plaza is not a good idea are so on target. Surprisingly at a program for Colonial Williamsburg Foundations volunteers on Wednesday — I have been a volunteer for 17 years — CEO Mitchell Reiss spoke enthusiastically about the plaza and many volunteers groaned aloud.
Let me reiterate and embellish some of May’s excellent points.
Williamsburg has four seasons and is not Florida, South Carolina or California.
The 40 or so parking spaces are used daily by hundreds of visitors, both local and out of state. The six or seven handicapped spaces are rarely vacant and are always really needed by the users.
Walking or navigating a wheelchair across the street from either the parking garage, the parking lot behind the College of William and Mary Bookstore and the Bruton Parish Hall and Gift Shop, or from the parking area across from Berretts Seafood Restaurant, can be a real challenge.
Parked visitors can more easily walk through the alleys and are on Duke of Gloucester Street, a real “plaza" which abounds in benches, trees, no traffic save cross streets, as well as shops and restaurants.
A beautiful park awaits visitors walking along Duke of Gloucester Street on the Palace Green, and historic gardens abound. Bruton Parish Church welcomes visitors to the church and churchyard, and the grounds of the Courthouse and Capitol Buildings are open to all. There’s even a pond in front of the Williamsburg Inn to gaze upon, no splashing of course. And no fences around Colonial Williamsburg to date.
The lawns of the wonderful DeWitt and Abby Aldrich Art Museum have proved a marvelous venue for summer concerts. Children can run and play anytime.
Who wants or needs a TV/movie screen is Historic Colonial Williamsburg anyway? Everyone older than 5 is walking around with their smartphone.
I have no vote on this decision, but if I did it would be a resounding “No!” to the Goodwin Plaza proposal.
Mary Rose Schlatter
James City County