The former Stevens Hardware Store building on Main Street Oneonta is disgusting.

For years now (3? 4?) the storefront has been shrouded in ugly striped plywood.  Inside, the windows that once proudly displayed outdoor clothing, hunting equipment and fishing supplies, we now see jagged, thick shards of glass.  All of this from an incident, now long forgotten, where something went through the front windows.  It has been so long nobody really remembers what went through the windows.  A beer bottle? A student's head?  An errant skateboarder?  It really doesn't matter.

I am afraid this building will always look like this.  Welcome to the new normal, Oneontans.

As I mentioned last year in my annual post about this building, imagine you are a investor walking through the streets of Oneonta looking to get involved with the buzz of downtown.  Sure there are empty buildings, every small city has them.  But we also have many attractive businesses that are open and welcoming customers.  From book stores, to shoe stores, clothing stores, restaurants and cafes, downtown has a lot to offer.

But what do these disgusting windows tell a potential investor.  Not so much about this building in particular, but the city as a whole?

That we don't care what we look like?  That apparently something happened here, something frightening and violent, at this location?  That neglect is tolerated in Oneonta.?

The building is a huge black eye and my annual pleas to the city powers is once again this:  Please clean up this mess!

I really feel sorry for Theresa's Emporium next door to this building.  She is to be commended for providing beautiful and interesting front windows despite this travesty next door.

I hope I don't have to put this post up again next year.

Is this the new normal, Oneonta?

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