Bob Taylor has a personal history with Columbia dating back to 1899, which is about when his grandmother's family moved to the city.
With the video embedded below, Taylor said he hopes to provide a look into the identity of the Niedermeyer building. Music heard in the video is from the Aeolian organ, which has a history he also works to preserve.
Lately, I see the issue of more downtown student housing is only getting cursory attention (from planners) when it could turn into a real bust in several ways. Students graduating with $100,000 debt are becoming common, yet most of them have no way to pay for it. What happens if students realize they can’t afford the huge debt after graduation and stop moving into these places? In recent years, most of the woes of this country have come from "too much and too soon" actions. This boom in student apartments, with all the amenities normally associated with mid-income-or-above wage earners, has to deal with reality soon. When that happens, these places might be empty.
Destruction of the Niedermeyer for a 15 story apartment building is risky for the community. The goal of new construction is to satisfy the profit motive of out-of-town investors who couldn't care less about local historical significance and other consequences. I question the wisdom of that development as it might adversely affect established restaurants and other businesses by creating a huge parking shortage and at the same time, might introduce overcapacity in a market that is being embraced by lack of financial (student) wisdom. Four major student complexes are now under construction. Two are in the downtown area. Adding the Niedermeyer apartment site seems overly exuberant.
If you can't see the video above, view it on YouTube here.
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