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To the editor:

I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, and haven’t lived here full-time for more than 60 years. But I have had a second home in Santa Cruz since the 1980s, and I visit it often while I hang out with my childhood friends. My principal residence is in the Bay Area, where I served eight years on the city council and eight years as mayor promoting “smart growth.”

I was very pleased to read the informative article about the developments planned for the downtown area and the need to provide affordable housing. Multistory buildings should be downtown and don’t have to be ugly. They beat gobbling up the precious open space we have left. It is absolutely true that if Santa Cruz doesn’t provide for more housing with its own design, the state will do it with no regard for aesthetics.

The riverwalk proposed between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street sounds terrific!

I miss the Cooper House, the old Congregational Church on the corner of Laurel and Center streets, the old Carnegie Library and the Plunge. In order to preserve the Santa Cruz “vibe,” we should honor historic preservation. I don’t like the idea of moving the library to make way for parking. I am proud of the fact that the city where I now live saved its Carnegie Library and its Plunge.

So, most of the proposals for downtown don’t scare me, but let’s cherish the city hall, Gabriella’s, the Octagon, the Palomar, the Del Mar and all the other gems that connect us to our past. The Museum of Art and History does a good job documenting historic buildings. The staff should be consulted.

Rosemary M. Corbin
Santa Cruz