Mount Vernon restoration plan won't benefit area residents

The Mount Vernon Conservatory plans to raise $18.5 million to: Chop down mature trees, replace soil and flower beds and lighting, put in an underground irrigation system and utility connections, narrow streets and replace sidewalks with brick as was done along the east square, and repair curbs, balustrades and statues.

Where do these people live!? Anyone living around here still unfondly recalls the major inconvenience caused by those brick sidewalks, not to mention they are slippery when wet. And consider the traffic hassle and noise of all that chopping, digging, repairing and narrowing!

Certainly we want to keep Mount Vernon Square beautiful. Mulching, plantings, regular grass cutting and other improvements are much appreciated neighborhood boons, as are the mature shade and flowering trees. But, in a city struggling to just collect its garbage and pay for police, firefighters and other essential services, it does sound a wee bit "let them eat cake" for a non-profit group, seeking tax deductible contributions in the amount of $18.5 million, to "restore the tree pattern of a French classical layout that was evident 100 years ago."

Ingrid Krause, Baltimore

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