North End?

First, thanks to all of you who have participated in the Stone Ave Plan meetings. The draft plan based on neighbors’ feedback was shown last Thursday and is impressive. The consultants will be back with more detailed versions and we are keeping in touch with them.

One thing we want to do is to name the overall Stone Ave Area encompassed by the plan so that it can be called something that represents all of our neighborhood associations.

We are close to settling on the name, “North End.”

Below is a summary by Mike Mecklenburg, an Earle Street resident as to the pros and cons of “North End.”

If you would like to chime in, please do.

Hi all,

Lots of great suggestions and good word play – “Stoned on Main” was a favorite of mine. Someone also suggested Uptown, but for some strange reason this name seems to have been taken by Haywood Road. But as is often the case, sometimes it’s good to re-visit where we started.

“North End” was one of the first names discussed during the brainstorming session the other evening. Although not rejected outright, there was some resistance to this term. Some of you, myself included, wondered: what’s wrong with this name? Since then, I have spoken to several of you to determine the nature of the objections, and have found we are closer to agreement than we may realize. So here is a recap of the pros and cons (bear in mind that the purpose of this email is to move the conversation forward – please weigh in with your comments – there is no right or wrong).

1. This name has been floating around for years and was voted on — in favor — some time ago by several North Main associations, including the businesses.
2. It is logical, easy to remember and compliments the names of other parts of town, notable the West End. We are, after all, in the geographically northern part of the city
3. It is generic and does not favor a particular existing street, neighborhood or function – remember that if the draft plan goes forward and someday happens, we will have a whole new neighborhood with a variety of functions: homes, retail and offices. This area will hopefully be a destination of its own.

1. Such a name will subsume the names and identities of our distinct neighborhoods within North Main
2. The name is almost too generic – after time, people will refer to this whole part of town as the North End and the North Main identity will be forgotten.

One idea was to call this the North End Business District. But as Victor (consultant) correctly pointed out, we will also have many residences in this new area – not just businesses. A compromise would be the North End District. Some who voiced opposition to just “North End” indicated to me that they could accept North End District.

Here are my thoughts:
Any name could possibly subsume any other name. I believe our neighborhoods — Heritage, East Park, Viola, North Main Community and Earle and James – already have very well establish identities and the danger of losing that is minimal. I am not convinced that the name North End would replace our exiting neighborhood names – which appears to be the principal objection. I think it just as likely that North End would remain the designation for the new development outlined in the draft plan – this new area as it gets built will always have its distinct identity.

I think that weighing the pros and cons, the name North End has a lot to recommend. But this is just my opinion. I spoke to Jim Gilreath earlier and he personally has no problem with the name. But the concerns are valid, so I am also fine with North End District. And this seems like something we could all live with.

Let’s move this forward.

Mike Mecklenburg

North End?
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