Thursday, January 13, 2011

Revisionism


Readers interested in the history of our neighborhood will want to check out Sarah Becker's latest article in the Old Town Crier on Colross, the mansion which once graced the square block where the Monarch building stands today.

It seems that over the course of 130 years a succession of prominent Alexandrians — one of them a Mayor and grandson of George Mason — resided at Colross before the elegant stately home was dismantled and reconstructed in Princeton, New Jersey, where it still stands today.

We have been repeatedly told that our neighborhood has always been a poor and decrepit community. Now we are confronted by the ghost of Colross. How does this square with the image the City has been attempting to paint for years?

Were these notable and wealthy citizens of yesteryear somehow slumming it? Or is the story of this stately home, its occupants and distinguished visitors just another inconvenient example of a richer and more diverse past that politically-motivated City historians and archaeologists are reluctant to acknowledge?