Letter – Grange plan  misses mark

Published 8:03 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Pierceville is going to be developed. Everyone needs to get onboard with that idea and embrace it. It is going to happen.

I would suggest that the energy spent fighting the development would be better spent in ensuring the development is worthy of Smithfield’s precious historical area. It needs to be special. The proposal submitted to the town is not special. I have many words for the design submitted, but none of them is flattering.

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All of the projects that the Luters have contributed to our town have been first class, and we are so fortunate to have Mr. Joe Luter III as a benevolent benefactor. Last year, Joe Luter IV took out a full page in the Times to reassure the citizens of Smithfield that he understands how important this piece of property is to the community. He explained his family’s vision for the development, which was reassuring. When it was revealed that he had hired Historical Concepts out of Atlanta as a partner, this reassurance was justified.

Historical Concepts is the perfect group to undertake this project. Based in Atlanta, this architectural firm maintains a commitment to produce original works of architecture informed by the classical tradition and lessons of historical precedent. They understand the importance of honoring our historic district. I am confident their design would be something we could all embrace and it would be compatible with our charming small town. I’m sure their recommendations did not include the density, parking and run-of-the-mill buildings presented in the current plan.

Unfortunately, Historical Concepts is no longer included on the project, which is a cause for concern. The project should not be approved until Historical Concepts is invited back as a partner.

The town made a huge mistake in approving the Mallory Scott project, one that we will all regret for generations to come, but at least it isn’t in the historical area.  We can’t let our town leaders make the same mistake twice. Pierceville is too precious for anything less than the best.


Renee Bevan