Protestors Stage One Last Hurrah Against Planned CVS

Posted by Lindsay Jones on Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Foes of a CVS pharmacy to rise at the intersection of Union and Cooper were in full battle array this morning, holding signs and asking for honks of support as they mourned the impending demolition of Union Avenue United Methodist Church.

The group's leader, Gordon Alexander of the Midtown Action Coalition, conceded that the protest was symbolic. Since the demonstration was already scheduled, he and others decided to proceed even though hope of preserving the historic building is all but lost.

Gordon Alexander led a protest Saturday morning against CVS for its coming demolition of Union Avenue United Methodist Church.
  • Gordon Alexander led a protest Saturday morning against CVS for its coming demolition of Union Avenue United Methodist Church.

"We have no alternative," he said. "They're going to tear the church down."

Friday, Chancellor Arnold Goldin upheld an earlier decision that essentially clears the way for the historic structure to be razed. It will be replaced by what protestors consider a bland, suburban-style retail pharmacy that doesn't fit with the neighborhood's quirky bohemian character.

Once built, the new CVS will sit directly across from a large Ike's Pharmacy and variety store. CVS bought the building for more than $2 million from St. Luke's UMC — almost $1 million more than a Presbyterian church would have paid to reuse the building as a church, Alexander said.

He called CVS' rebuff of about 1,500 signatures against its acquisition of the building "stubborn" and "arrogant."

"They basically bought their way in," he said.

Although company representatives have argued their new store will create jobs and fit as much as possible with the neighborhood's overall look, the protestors weren't buying it. And if Alexander has his way, plenty of people in Midtown won't be buying it either. He fully envisions an all-out boycott.

"Lots of people won't shop at CVS," he said.

The demolition could proceed in a few weeks.

Protestors gave one last-ditch effort to save the historic church at Union and Cooper, even though they acknowledged their gathering was symbolic only.
  • Protestors gave one last-ditch effort to save the historic church at Union and Cooper, even though they acknowledged their gathering was symbolic only.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Bravo to the folks who were willing to stand up for what they believe and against the corporatization of our visual environment, along with our economy and our political system. This is what I talked about in my column this week. The protest wasn't symbolic if it raised the public's consciousness about the evils associated with every phase of the process that will eventually end up making this incipient eyesore a reality.

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Posted by M_Awesomeberg on 02/26/2011 at 2:17 PM

Property rights are property rights. I don't like that CVS is tearing down this beautiful building but no one seemed concerned as it sat and decayed.

To the people of midtown, do not let CVS shutdown Ikes. That would be the real tragedy.

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Posted by Clyde on 02/27/2011 at 3:31 PM

"no one seemed concerned as it sat and decayed."

^^EXACTLY. just as with the SW corner of Overton square. i'm sorry. these people are dopes.

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Posted by wvfii on 02/28/2011 at 11:52 AM

Citizen's rights are citizen's rights. The protesters have the right to be there.

By the way - Ike's is not Ike's. It's Walgreens in an Ike's shell. Walgreens will probably shut it down when CVS opens.

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Posted by cdel on 03/01/2011 at 10:16 AM
Showing 1-4 of 4

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