Editorials, Opinion

Arthurdale Heritage going back to its roots

As important as historic preservation is, it’s good to see Arthurdale Heritage getting back to its roots: community development.

The nonprofit is looking to build a mixed commercial and educational space — a place that can be a financial anchor for the community while also blossoming into a cultural hub.

The part of the plan we’re most excited about is the addition of a trade school. Arthurdale Heritage is looking to partner with private business(es) to offer classes on weaving, blacksmithing, stonemasonry, welding and electricity.

These kinds of trades are what we would call “future-proof” — either jobs that cannot be done by robots, or skills that are valued specifically because of the human element.

Can a robot put together some steel or chip away at some rocks? Sure, but the robot isn’t going to come to your house to repair broken metalwork, or build a retaining wall, or run electric wiring through your house.

Can a robot weave a blanket or sweater, or twist copper into a decorative design? Yeah, but to own something handcrafted is to own something special and unique. Like snowflakes, no two handmade product can be exactly alike. In a world of cheap, mass-produced monotony, something made by a real person intrinsically has more value.

We wish Arthurdale Heritage the best of luck as this project gets up and running, and we look forward to seeing what comes from it.