The loss of the Newsroom from Spring Street feels so sad and wrong, reminiscent of the loss of Phillips from Water Street. This is one store that represented and supported our community's intellectual life - reading, writing, composing, computing, creating. Over the years its exterior changed but it remained the iconic narrow shop smelling of newspapers, ink, and bubblegum, always with a ball game on the radio, where households picked up their Sunday papers and students could walk to buy supplies. Now instead of a family business we must drive to a faceless chain store for these essentials.
For the street as a whole, this takes away yet another practical useful store and goes against an important town goal of keeping Spring Street functional and relevant. We fear something bland and generic will now fill the space. As the street turns more toward tourism, we must remember that the character of our downtown has been a significant draw for prospective residents, right after our beautiful landscape and excellent schools. It's hard to believe that no one had the patience or imagination to find a better solution than this. Spring Street, the college explains, is evolving, but this feels more like wrong-headed economic engineering in a direction no one in Williamstown desires.