It's painfully difficult to sit inside on a gorgeous, sunny day like today. Yet that's precisely what more than a few of us are doing, despite a forecast that claims we'll see less and less of the sun in the next few days. I suppose retirees in Cape Elizabeth and trustafarians in Camden can wander outside whenever they please, but the rest of us need an excuse, and that's just what people up in Augusta are trying to give us. The city's historic preservation commission wants to create a walking tour
that would highlight some of the historic and architecturally significant buildings down on Water Street. The tour includes historic photographs mounted on durable signs and a little write-up about each location. An individual sign can be sponsored for about a $1,000. The first such "Museum in the Streets"
was created a few years back in Thomaston and was a huge success with both locals and visitors. Apparently the folks in Belfast read the article
we wrote about Thomaston's tour, and couple of years ago they established a walking tour of their own. Since then Waterville and Biddeford have also established tours, and Searsport and Hallowell are trying to get some going as well.
Some people have argued that Augusta needs to do a bit of sprucing up before it will really warrant a walking tour, and that position certainly has some merit. But there are portions of Water Street that are already very pleasant, so why not start small, with just a handful of signs? Perhaps it's asking the cart to lead the horse, but maybe the fact that people are actually slowing down to look at the buildings in our state capital will encourage developers to restore more of Augusta's waterfront and the fine buildings that have for years turned their backs to the Kennebec. A handful of signs would admittedly be just a baby step but, especially in Augusta, any progress would be a step in the right direction.
JOSHUA F. MOORE
Deputy Editor, known to use practically any excuse to wander around Maine