The Maplewood City Council apparently with no chance for input from the citizenry has voted to demolish the historic streetcar pavilion in the Sutton Loop. It should be noted that Councilmen Greenberg, Dunn and Faulkingham voted against this measure.
Our pavilion is an example of civic architecture now mostly found in large cities where a significant part of the population either walks or uses public transit. Of course, this isn’t surprising. It is after all a shelter from the sun and rain. And ours was once a shelter from the wind as well as one of the following historic photos suggests.
I am an admirer of the elegance of this fairly simple structure and have long thought it deserves a proper restoration. About a year and a half ago I photographed it hoping to someday help push for a renovation. The photos I took then follow.
It is a relic of the era of the streetcar, I’m fairly certain. If you are familiar with the Circus Maximus in Rome, once a chariot racetrack now a large grassy never-developed oval, our pavilion sits on our circus maximus originally called the Maplewood Loop now known as the Sutton Loop. Our chariots were streetcars then buses. Now our oval is covered with grass and hopefully will never be developed.
How then does our City Council decide to demolish this important historic structure? I don’t have an answer. It has been discovered during the recent work on the Loop that the pavilion lacks a proper foundation. But the estimate to outfit it with one comes in at just a little over 15K. That is certainly worth doing and affordable.
I urge you to get in touch with your mayor and councilpersons excepting the aforementioned gentlemen and urge them to nullify their earlier vote and allow for input from those of us who live in Maplewood, have lived in Maplewood, want to live in Maplewood or just like Maplewood. After hearing our testimonies I can’t imagine that any of them will still want to demolish this graceful part of our history, the historic streetcar pavilion at the Sutton Loop still providing a dry spot or shade for anyone who needs it.