A lot can happen in five years. People get married, people have babies and people get proven wrong. All three of these events happened in my column this month.
Five years ago this summer I wrote a column entitled “Requiem for Rock Palace.” Five years ago The Rouse Company announced its intention to enclose Merriweather Post Pavilion creating a year round, albeit smaller, arts venue. Gone would be the outdoor music theatre that has hosted such rock legends as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who. The plan was to choke off most of the parking with a mix of office and retail development. If they could get a few more housing allocations from the county for Town Center they’d throw them in there too.
It all seemed so inevitable back then.
Not to everyone though. There were many different forces that came into play that spared Merriweather from the wrecking ball, not the least of which was the acquisition of The Rouse Company by General Growth Properties.
Before that occurred however, another of those forces was a grassroots organization called Save Merriweather. It was formed by four young Columbians, Justin Carlson, Ian Kennedy and their girlfriends at the time, Tanya and Lena. They set out to try and stop the inevitable and five years later you’d have to admit that it looks like they largely succeeded, with a little help from their friends.
Five years later the girlfriends are now the wives and Justin has become a daddy. Everyone still lives in Columbia and they are generally encouraged by what they are hearing from General Growth about the Pavilion and its place in the redevelopment plans for Town Center.
Five years later it is time for me to acknowledge that I got it wrong. You can read this month’s column here.