Monday, October 28, 2019

Will the Real Ellicott City Please Stand Up

When I think of Ellicott City, two competing images come to mind. One is of Main Street, Old Ellicott City. The other is of Route 40, a thoroughfare of a gazillion shopping centers. It seems an odd composition to me. How did Ellicott City come to have such a split personality?

If you live in Ellicott City, what do you see as the “center of town”? Is it Main Street, or is it a spot on Route 40 where you frequently shop or eat out? Or is it someplace else entirely?

Since much of Columbia was built in a particular time period, it’s pretty easy to see what the Center of Town was meant to be. We’re a very young place. We’re only now experiencing a significant second wave of growth, of the sort that may shift how we see ourselves.

In comparison, Ellicott City has years and years of history behind it. Sifting through the layers of growth, of generational changes and suburban sprawl is a task worthy of county planners, I guess. Or the historical society.

Here’s my question: does it all make sense to you? Is Ellicott City a cohesive community/city/town/suburb? Does it all hang together, somehow, despite its many contrasts? I realize that this question reveals plenty about my lack of knowledge, but, hey: isn’t that what questions are for?

Clue me in.

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