Our View: The beauty of ugly buildings

"Whores, bankers and ugly buildings all become respectable," Robert Towne once wrote, "if they last long enough."

It's been seven years since the Pony Express Pavilion was built for $1.2 million - meaning it's still relatively young, as buildings go. Even so, it's already beginning to lose some of the disparaging image that accompanied it through its earliest years.

It may not be everything that its supporters envisioned. In fact, it may not be anything that its supporters envisioned. Yet, in this case, the vision for the Pony Express Pavilion has developed since its construction.

The farmers market, in-line hockey players, young summer campers have made it a busy place most days, as Nevada Appeal reporter Teya Vitu outlined in Sunday's edition.

"Like everything else, it takes time," said former mayor Marv Teixeira, who bore the brunt of the jokes about what was seen as a monument to poor planning. And he's right.

Mills Park is one of Carson City's greatest assets, and the pavilion is an asset to Mills Park. Originally seen as a venue for tourist-attracting events, the pavilion - like the park itself - is useful more often to locals. It will outlive its past.

At the south end of Carson City, a resurrection is under way on the capital city's most underrated historical asset - the Stewart complex.

Few would consider the Stewart buildings ugly, except in their current state of disrepair. They exude history.

Sheila Abbe, director of the Stewart Indian Museum, is rounding up support to make the complex a living showcase of Native American culture and history.

Work already has begun under a $343,000 historical preservation grant, and there is much more that can be done. The 65 or so buildings at Stewart represent a tremendous opportunity, like the Virginia & Truckee Railroad reconstruction project, to expand a tourism base beyond gaming.

Respectability is a wonderful thing, but we shouldn't have to wait forever.


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