Ebbets Field of Dreams

ebbetsfield.jpgDuring what was probably my last visit to Edwardsville, IL, home of my grandfather and father, I happened by this:  It may be hard to tell from the photo, but this is the entrance to a development named "Ebbets Field" rising in a former corn field. There may be less appropriate locations for a tract detached housing development named after a demolished (over 50 years ago, and cherished by some) baseball stadium formerly the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers than and exurb of St. Louis, but its a bit of a stretch. I could continue discussing this misappropriation, but what was more disturbing is a common irony: Edwardsville, IL had a small, walkable, intact town center until recently. My grandfather had a general store I could walk to, and relatives had a bakery near there. In the last decade or so, the town has widened roads to accommodate more traffic and built chain stores and strip malls, many of them themed to look "ye olde" or "1920's". The quality of construction is very poor, with stucco facades molded to give the appearance of buildings of a century ago, but a lifespan of probably 20 years. So density is decreasing, necessitating cars, while building styles emulate a walkable past that most have never experienced.