Marsha Gordon | Indy Week

Marsha Gordon 
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Re: “Seeking understanding on a tour of Oakwood in Raleigh

Matthew Brown is, indeed, a wonderful Oakwood character! He is also one of the neighborhood’s most knowledgeable citizens, working tirelessly to research Oakwood’s history.

In his article, Smith describes, but does not seem to appreciate, the value of Oakwood’s diverse architecture, ranging from glorious mansions built for the affluent to humble dwellings for the working class. That rich tapestry of big and small, 19th century Victorian and 20th century Bungalow, highly ornamented and plain is what gives Oakwood its character. It is the opposite of a cookie cutter subdivision, and the same can be said for its inhabitants.

In fact, it is really the people, like Matthew Brown, that make Oakwood great. Some may wonder how we can express this sentiment in light of the recent battle over the construction of our Euclid St. home, which has brought out passionate—and hurtful—feelings on both sides.

Even those who have vociferously opposed our home have done so because it is an authentic expression of their concern for our neighborhood. While we do not agree that new construction that reflects its time will negatively impact Oakwood—which is surely how our predecessors felt in 1895, or 1926, or 1954 when they built homes in the style of their times—we respect other peoples’ right to have differing views. And we appreciate neighbors who have now, in light of the recent Superior Court decision, shaken our hands in an effort to move past the conflict that has recently cast Oakwood in a negative light.

Let’s give our neighbors—like our friend, Matthew Brown—credit for fighting to protect what they believe in and for making Oakwood one of the jewels of Raleigh. Let’s take this opportunity for all of us to move past divisiveness and into a more positive, constructive, forward-looking place.

Marsha Gordon & Louis Cherry

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Marsha Gordon on 09/17/2014 at 5:12 PM

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