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Cornelius News

Guest Opinion: Blending the new and old Cornelius is no small task

March 27. By Paula Wolfe. [Opinion] Growth and development in Cornelius are booming these days. Seemingly, everywhere and all at once. A landscape or landmark could be completely changed by the time you pass by from morning to evening on your daily commute.

We all knew change was coming. The plans were out there and rumors swirled. From paper to reality, change is happening rapidly. And people are talking about it.

Emotions and commentary on social media and local gathering spots echo the agony and excitement of growth in our community. What are they saying? Depends on who’s talking about it, where they are from, and how long they have lived here. If one has relocated from a large city, Cornelius feels small and cozy.

In contrast, if one has deeper roots here, it may feel like too much to absorb.

The past

Not that long ago, Cornelius was a town of farms, porch swings, vegetable gardens, clotheslines, tree swings and local merchants and neighbors who not only knew each other, but generations of families and their stories. A large part of that Cornelius community is still here and embracing that tradition and charm…still.

Certainly, this is the story of many small towns all across America. We become pliable and make room as a town when something big draws folks from all over to want to live here. Most notably, a big beautiful lake, as well as good weather and close proximity to a large booming city.

Dealing with change

But how do we adapt? Could it be the convenience of having so many shopping, dining and recreation options that become available with growth? Is that worth the cost of traffic, roundabouts and a changing landscape? Again, depends on whom you ask.

As for me, I was here when the diverging diamond came. Of course the construction was altering to my daily routine, I was frustrated every day.

When the sidewalks and streetlights on East Catawba were being installed, another pain. Again, the frustration came and went. And the result is beautiful. When small cities within a town popped up in what felt like overnight, I asked myself, “what was there before?”

Take a deep breath

The impact of losing many acres of lush, mature trees will not go unnoticed in the heat of the coming summer months. If we stand up to change, my biggest hope is to preserve the giant, old trees that provide so much beauty, charm and history for our town.

Change is hard in the moment. Growing pains are uncomfortable. We are in it. We are definitely not going backwards.
I personally would like a pause to breathe and take it in.

Paula Wolfe

Good or bad. We will adapt. We always have.

โ€”Paula Wolfe

Wolfe, a Cornelius homeowner and business owner for 30 years, is also a member of the Cornelius Historic Preservation Committee.


6 Responses to “Guest Opinion: Blending the new and old Cornelius is no small task”

  1. Nicely written!

    Posted by Gail | March 28, 2024, 8:41 am
  2. Well done Paula!
    You nailed it!!

    Posted by Denis B | March 28, 2024, 9:37 am
  3. Lovely read miss Paula. Thank you.

    Posted by Diana Sharpe | March 28, 2024, 12:09 pm
  4. I believe one of our elected officials recently remarked that Cornelius has surpassed Davidson for charm and small town preservation.
    I recently received the latest edition of the official NC Visit North Carolina to help me plan a vacation to OBX.
    There is no mention of Cornelius at all. Davidson, yes. Cornelius is not even on the large fold out map at the end.
    Just sayin’.

    Posted by James | March 29, 2024, 4:22 pm
    • While growth can bring conveniences to people, the destruction of trees and vegetation are not acceptable. I am willing to drive a bit to get those modern elements so that we can preserve whatโ€™s left of the character. Having high-rise condos and apartments isnโ€™t charm. Itโ€™s just growth.

      Posted by Lisa Jennings Ducharme | April 4, 2024, 7:37 am
  5. Great editorial .๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ. Keep up the great work.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

    Posted by Nehest Cherival (AKA) Nicky belljes | March 31, 2024, 2:13 pm

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