Editorial

Cape is learning to dream big

Monday, April 20, 2009

Queen Isabella of Spain had a fair-sized bank account when an Italian fellow came to her with a proposal requiring some venture capital.

Pay for three ships, supplies and crews to seek a new route to the Indies, and Spain will corner the commodities markets.

Isabella eventually said OK, but she could just as easily has told Christopher Columbus: "Get outta here. You're nothing but a dreamer."

Every great achievement begins with someone's dream.

Finding ways to help aging downtowns in cities across Missouri was the dream of the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri Initiative set up during the administration of Gov. Matt Blunt.

Cape Girardeau was one of the first communities designated as a DREAM city in 2006.

Since then, the Old Town Cape organization, with the help of many volunteers and a professional planning firm, has shepherded the planning process designed to help us dream what downtown might become.

Last week some of those ideas were presented at a meeting that drew 100 participants, an indication of a high level of interest in both the DREAM objectives and the process to achieve those aims.

Included are a downtown hotel to serve visitors to Southeast Missouri State University, a river aquarium near the riverfront, an artists village and streetscape improvements to Broadway.

There is still much left to be done in this dreaming process, but those involved in the DREAM Initiative say some of these ideas could become reality.

Giving the community a reason to dream is exciting. Seeing some of these dreams come true would be an important accomplishment.

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