There’s often a vast gulf between perception and reality. Dove Beauty conducted an experiment to this effect, and the results are fascinating. Take 3 minutes and watch:
With that in mind, how would you describe Elgin in 10 words or less? And – perhaps more importantly – how would others describe us?
Let’s work to bridge that gap.
Great architecture in pre-WWII areas of town, much of it degraded by artificial siding and replacement windows; boring landscaping–lawns and yews–with lots of exceptions, lots of gardens. A lot of areas down-on-their-heels–the real estate crash hit Elgin hard, at least in my neighborhood. Good infrastructure, tree planting, downtown looking better, but not dynamic. Do not take enough advantage of our river–should be more views and access. My own neighborhood–lots of dog walking, creates friendliness. Also more children playing outside–bike-riding, playing ball, etc. than in more prosperous neighborhoods. We don’t have a park, so kids play throughout the neighborhood.
Wing Park and Lord’s Park are treasures, although I would like to see their oak savannas maintained as savannas, not as trees and lawn. The preservation of the Lord’s Park Pavillion and Old Main has been awesome and not only did they contribute to the stability of the neighborhoods they are in, but to the whole city. The Aquatic Centers are great; the Hemmens, the Rec Center, the new golf course and Wing Park Golf Course, the library and its branch, ECC and its new facilities, the Elgin Academy and its new building, and now we have the incredible and unique grounds, at least, of the Country Day School back. Elgin has had a long history of outstanding music and drama, which continues today, and now art has been added to the mix–all of these add the culture and dynamism of the city, which in my mind attracts middle and upper class people to our city.
Even though Elgin has a 100,000+ population, in many ways it is still a small town–everybody knows everyone else.
Elgin has a GREAT nature center, but I think it’s under-utilized. We have 3 state designated Illinois Nature Preserves, well-tended by their stewards–Trout Park, Bluff Spring Fen and the Sleepy Hollow Ravine–more than any other city in Illinois. I also love Burnidge Forest Preserve within our borders.
I think Randall Road with all its incredibly ugly malls is itself incredibly ugly and it makes me angry that I am forced to use some of the businesses–Target, USPO, Office Max, and Hobby Lobby–located there. I miss our old downtown with its locally owned stores and shops, like one stil sees in St. Charles and Geneva.
Oops–just noticed the 10 words or less directions, so I’ll stop now. Thanks for providing this forum, Crysta.
Really well balanced list, Pat – thanks for compiling!
On the other side of it, here’s a new parody of the original Dove ad, which reminds us to look at the negative, too: http://youtu.be/T8Jiwo3u6Vo