Fort Langley, British Columbia, really needs to figure out what kind of image it wants to project to the world, another words, what sort of historical designation does it signify: 1850s Western, Gun Smoke looking town; early 20th century, the automobile arrives with mud roads look; The California tourist trap, an old movie set look and the current mis-mash early western, mixed modern look. I didn’t realize it until I was following some, to what appeared to be European tourist, who were talking about what they thought the down-town main street represented in their minds. I heard them saying that they loved the modern buildings , and negatively commented on how run-downed the building across the street from it looked compared to the buildings that are getting renovated. Little did they know, the time span between those three buildings is almost 90 years apart, with the newest built in 2005, while the oldest dates from 1918. This got me thinking, because I don’t even know what the town council wants as the genre, or theme, of the tiny town?
Maybe it is not enough for the new building projects to mimic the “Old West,” but rather build the streets to match the look also: e.g. create the sidewalks that would cater to horses with tie-rails and watering troughs. Get lamp standards that resemble the old oil burning lamps of the 1920s, and get rid of the hydro electric power lines and polls that always get into the shots of every photo you take of the town. Hey, if you are going to force the citizens [tax payers] who live in the town to pay for these cosmetics, then the township should do its part too. After all, who is the town for anyways, the inhabitance, or the merchants? I don’t mind paying, as long as it is for the most beneficial plan, the one most agreed upon. At one point, as far as cost goes, I was saying, just leave the town alone, and keep it cheep–forget about the tourist trade and give it to Vancouver and their Olympics.
For me, It is a coin toss between the clean modern look and the “clean” Old-West look. I am on the fence on this issue because I really don’t see the need to create a facade for the tourists. However, I understand that the merchants need that type of attraction, and so they should, business is business. But I would really like to see some consistency here, so let’s stick to one theme, and let’s stay with it.