|Screen grab from The London Free Press video showing scenes from Muncie, Ind.|
|Lobby of Roberts Hotel, Muncie, Indiana.|
A Cincinnati developer hopes to turn the old hotel into senior housing. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has approved $1.3 million in rental housing tax credits per year for 10 years toward the cost of the $16 million project.
|Roberts Hotel, Muncie, Indiana. Still standing.|
Londoners should applaud Muncie's good luck. Old time London folk still talk fondly of Hotel London and its beautiful, oh-so-ornate ballroom. But the Ontario city lost its gem when it was demolished to make way for the future --- a couple of tall, modern towers, the tallest buildings in town at the time.
|Hotel London, London, Ontario demolished decades ago.|
Seeing that the little Indiana burg is working to save its heritage hotel, I wondered what the folks in Muncie have done with their old downtown movie theatre.
London has managed to save the Grand Theatre but lost a real gem in the Capitol Theatre which was allowed to slowly deteriorate to be finally razed for a parking lot. Some of the exterior facade was retained but the auditorium is gone.
Well Muncie has managed to save its Civic Theater. You have to give Muncie credit. For a little place suffering all the economic hardships common to Rust Belt cities, Muncie is still in there fighting to save some of what once made Muncie Muncie.
|The Civic Theater in Muncie, Indiana.|
First, I visited the downtown. Yes, lots of it looks sad. But, a sad looking downtown is not news. Gosh, from my travels, I expect a downtown to look sad. Muncie did have some bright little spots. Muncie is clearly struggling but it is still struggling. Many downtowns have given up the battle and are just plain dead.
|Heritage buildings in downtown Muncie from Google StreetViews.|
Cities in Ontario's north that were fine places to live in the '70s, today look sad, rundown, forgotten. Paper mills have closed, logging operations halted, mines closed. With residents stripped of income, towns and cities can look pretty sad pretty quick. But I did see homes that said that Muncie was not always like it is today and held promise that it may yet have a future. Homes like the one below tell me that not everyone has given up on their city.
|Muncie could again be a good place to live. If only there were more jobs.|
|Muncie has its high points as well as its low.|