This week’s Washington City Paper’s cover story – “Shell of a Town”- which was just released today, mounts a blistering assault on College Park. The article, at some points abrasive and combative and others startlingly insightful and well-informed, leaves anyone familiar with College Park unsure whether to laugh or cry. While it isn’t our role to debate the finer social points presented by the author, David Morton, this article is truly one of the most comprehensive accounts of the physical development of College Park that we have ever come by. He characterizes College Park as having the “locational charm of a highway rest stop” despite the university’s stately campus. Comparing College Park to America’s perennially great College Towns, the author cites “an ugly shopping strip, a scarcity of choice, an air of lurking danger, and the promise of thoughtless mayhem” as what the town has going for it. He goes on later to bemoan the city’s lack of small business, chronicles College Parks seemingly endless violent crime log, and recommends a new and innovative riot policy to school administrators – “Make College Park worth not destroying.”
Of course it really isn’t all as hopeless as Morton portrays it to be – indeed the Testudo statue on the front page is looking ahead, or rather, onward – towards East Campus.