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OUR VIEW: Corn Palace domes deserve chance to live on

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OUR VIEW: Corn Palace domes deserve chance to live on
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

We've already cheered the Ethan community for its ingenuity in preserving a century-old water tower as the topper for a new gazebo.

But the story, reported on Page A1 of Saturday's edition, got us wishing we in Mitchell would have done something similar with the old Corn Palace domes. The old domes were removed earlier this month as part of a two-phase, nearly $7.2 million renovation of the city-owned arena and tourist attraction. City officials told us at that time that they had talked about trying to save the old domes, and maybe put them to use somehow. But when the old domes came down, Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy said that was no longer being discussed.

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"It's a bit of our history that's going to be gone," he said.

That's a shame, because it didn't have to be so. Ethan's simple, creative solution is living -- and close -- proof of that. We admit we don't know everything city officials discussed regarding the old domes. City officials said they needed the frames from the old domes to construct the new ones, and the only way to get them was to cut away the old domes. Even so, we find it hard to believe that there was no avenue to set up something from at least one old dome with enough space for people to walk around, and maybe even inside.

How neat would it be for tourists, after looking at the Corn Palace's murals and snapping a photo with Cornelia, to have the chance to walk inside one of the domes that used to sit atop the Palace? Even us, the residents, might get a kick out of that.

We must confess, this wasn't entirely our idea. We overheard someone else suggest it, but never saw that person present their idea to the city. That brings about another point: If you have an idea, Mitchellites, bring it to the table.

Too often, great ideas are never realized because they're never verbalized. We're not sure why. Coffee-shop discussions are great, but when we're dealing with implementing change -- particularly any kind of taxpayer-funded change -- it takes a village to raise your voice.

Maybe it's too late to save the old domes and a slice of our very own Americana, but we should push hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. We're seeing more and more people in this community outspokenly fired up about utilizing our area's people, places and resources in smart, creative ways. Imagine how much more effective we'd be if we all got on the same page.

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