Did I read correctly? Is the Federal Building on Meeting Street to be renovated into a hotel? Is this another "miracle" such as what happened to the site of the Ansonborough Homes? As the homes disappeared, mirabile dictu, so did the toxicity of the land they were on, so that now, the city having given the site to the Housing Authority, a new building will rise.

This building will be for subsidized housing for seniors, with rents starting at $800, and said seniors can make up to $32,000 per year. As the regulations stand now in regard to housing for subsidized seniors, they can make only $26,000 per year if this includes their Social Security.

The people making up the largest segment of the population are Baby Boomers who, for the most part, are not ready to retire but are being forced, sometimes lawfully, into it.

Let's face it, $1,000 per month doesn't get it if one's Medicare is $104, one's supplemental insurance (a requirement, not an option) is $40-$50 and one's rent is $800. That doesn't leave a lot for telephone, utilities or even groceries.

If the Federal Building is miraculously free of asbestos (public perception was that the building was not rehabitable and would have to be destroyed) then why not make a reduced rent apartment building much like Canterbury House but with a bit more space, say, two-bedroom apartments?

There's parking out back. A pharmacy, small grocery, coffee shop, bookstore or whatever could be located on the bottom floor. Better yet, we could have an emergency care facility.

What are the city planners thinking? You've already taken our bus lines, the belt lines and the Rutledge-Heriot, Rutledge-Grove routes. What's next, housing?

Gentrification is very pretty, but I've started thinking about whether I can build housing under a bridge or overpass. Once you've gentrified the peninsula, perhaps a gate would be appropriate.

The ultimate "gated community" of Charleston, once my home, now is only a memory (unless I win the lottery and then all bets are off).

C.T. Leland

Coming Street