The editorial in the Aiken Standard on Oct. 24 was rather surprising in its conclusion that Aiken’s image would somehow suffer if the City’s Design Review Board refused the Mellow Mushroom’s petition to paint its building white. I beg to differ with the definition of that denial as a “curve ball.” It seems patently ludicrous that changing the color of a building will bring more economic growth to Aiken, while leaving it in its current old brick style will stifle its popularity. The Design Board was correct in its reasoning.
The Mellow Mushroom has already been given a huge leeway to gut the inside of the building, change the windows and awnings, and reconfigure the outside back area to suit its fellow businesses in other cities. The one remaining feature of the building that makes it unique to Aiken is the old brick façade that blends it with surrounding places in The Alley. Changing the remaining feature that adds continuity to Aiken’s historic and lovely downtown area could not possibly bring Aiken’s growth to a standstill. People come to Aiken because it is vibrant, beautiful, alive and welcoming, not because a popular restaurant is painted white.
Molly C. Gray