Chalk it up to 40+ years of empty (headed), downtown.

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The top photo is from 1893. It is New Albany’s old Post Office at the corner of Spring and Pearl.

The next photo, undated but from the late 1950’s or very early 60’s, shows the same building (near the center), with the former courthouse in front. The newer structure now housing La Rosita’s can be seen clearly, as well as St. Mark’s further east on Spring. Today, the lot where the Courthouse stood is occupied by Main Source Bank.

The last photo, taken by Gary Humphrey (River City Winery), is of recent damage done by feral skateboarders to the neglected stage on the neglected lot at the neglected corner where the Post Office once stood, until it was torn down by a previous generation of New Albany “leadership,” for whom show trials remain a preferred option if any of them persist in living.

I don’t excuse the destructive behavior of unsupervised adolescents, but I can’t help thinking that a physical space like this is the equivalent of a broken window, in the sense that perpetual dilapidation merely encourages further vandalism.

One final thought: Check out the traffic in the middle photo. Cars are moving both ways, aren’t they?

Remember when the current administration promised two-way traffic restoration downtown?

You don’t see it, do you? In my book, that’s a promise not kept.

(The first two photos are from the NA-FC Public Library’s Indiana Room, and its marvelous Historical Image Archive)

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