After demolishing our authentic architectural heritage,

After destroying the historic heart of our community,
After forcing local entrepreneurs out of business,

After undermining community trust and civility,
After bringing vicious vandalism to our village,

And after taking away

park, our parking, our pizza, our market and The Fargo  --

All in an attempt to force us to become a phony Pleasantland --

Wells College Closes the Aurora Inn!

See the 11/5/08 story in the local paper and read the college's letter to the community.

Remember...   Knowedgeable alumnae repeatedly told the administration that Rowland's plans for the Inn were unrealistic: that cutting down from 17  to 10 rooms, elimnating the bar, and reducing the dining areas would doom the rebuilt inn to failure. Professional preservationists warned that "heritage tourism" could not succeed if all authentic historic architecture was destroyed.  Reputable contractors advised the college that the gutting, demolition, and reconstruction plans were highly flawed.  Local residents predicted that the inn could not survive without the support of local customers, whom the new inn staff ignored and insulted.  And, contrary to the college's current spin, the Inn wasn't always run on a six-month seasonal schedule.  (That practice was initiated in the 1970s by Sissy Farenthold, former President of Wells College, and reinstituted in the 1990s by her daughter-in-law, current Wells President Lisa Ryerson.  Other presidents found reasonably capable mangers to run the inn, and/or accepted the necessity of winter losses as the price of keeping adequate accommodations available for college guests.) 

However... now having more or less admitted to the failure of its grand scheme to "transform" Aurora, the college administration apparently hopes to continue its misguided, incompent, destructive attempt to "develop" our village.  Plans were introduced at the September Village Board meeting to turn Walcourt (an old dorm located in a residential area) into yet another hotel!

Below,  a  few reminders of  what we've been through...

The New York Times
Article of May 18, 2001, by Dan Barry, "Big Change Is Bearing Down on Small Town."

The Associated Press
Feature article and news stories from January through April 2002.

No Storybook Ending
AP Nationwide feature, fall 2007.

Doll Village
The New York Times revisits the story in December, 2007.

Preservation Magazine
May/June 2002 feature story.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 2002 feature, "A Small College Divides Its Village With Unusual Attempt to Revive It"

Car Tires Slashed
The Auburn Citizen - October 10, 2008

Aurora Uproar: Wells opts not to renew managerís contract

The Auburn Citizen - April 14, 2005

Deep pockets, deep divisions
The Auburn Citizen- May 8, 2005

Post Office Controversy
Lots of local press and documents from 2007

Op-Ed: Maybe Aurora will one day be pleasant again
The Auburn Citizen- June 20, 2005

Rowland's take-over  questioned by the county newspaper.

Some More Local Press
puts local merchants out of business, relocates  trees, moves a building, angers citizens,  and celebrates grand opening of "her"  Inn.