Your View: Guest Column - We say ‘Farewell’ to the Trinity Inn

Jun. 07, 2013 @ 10:34 PM

BY GENI CARICO

On a beautiful, cloudless day in May, without fanfare or ceremony, one of Trinity’s oldest and most historical structures was reduced to nothing more than a pile of wood and mortar.
The Trinity Inn, located beside the Trinity Grill Cafe and across from Braxton Craven Elementary, predated the American Civil War.  During the mid-1800s, the inn was a hotel for visitors and dormitory for students of Trinity College, which later became Duke University. The Trinity Militia, composed of local college students, was also housed there during the Civil War.
After witnessing the demolition of this historic structure, I began to question how Trinity, and its citizens, could have let this icon be razed to the ground. It has been said that an old building has two enemies; water and stupid men.
The property had recently been purchased by Lights for Christ Ministries Inc. and there were plans to build a structure to accommodate this church. Currently, this property is not zoned for a church and without a text amendment approved by Trinity City Council, a church cannot be built on this site.
Saving and preserving our historical structures should be a priority for any community.  It is not only essential for the historic fabric of the our community, but visual  reminders of the past help the citizens of a city feel more connected to their community and to each other.  It is said that if you don’t know where you came from, you will not  know where you are. 
Sadly, Trinity has let another opportunity to revitalize the city be stripped from them. We have let “progress” sever our link to the past and destroy a community’s social identity. A city will ultimately get what it finds value in, what it is willing to pay for and sacrifice for, and ultimately it will also get what it deserves. We as a city may one day be judged, not by the structures that we build, but by the ones that we have destroyed.
The Trinity Inn was once the heart and soul of the city of Trinity.  We as a city should have put all our efforts into preserving this historic structure. Our history is irreplaceable.
William Morris, a great social thinker is quoted as saying, “These old buildings do not belong to us only, they belong to our forefathers and they will belong to our descendants unless we play them false. They are not in any sense our own property to do with as we like with them. We are only trustees for those that come after us.”
It would serve us well to remember this.

Geni Carico lives in Trinity.

 

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