Whew. Macy's is probably safe. Did I say Macy's? I meant Dayton's. The news comes the same day the paper printed a letter lamenting the sterility of downtown architecture, compared to the vitality of the previous eras. In one sense he's right - in a romantic, gauzy, forgotten era, you had images like this.

If it wasn't for City Hall, it would be impossible to fix the location without peering at the signage and consulting old ads for an address. Here's the street today.

Worse? In a way; the old block of hotels on the right - the Milner, the Vendome - were certainly more interesting than the parking ramp and the NSP. The new Xcel building does not quicken the pulse. The Marq4's big parking ramp podium is a big abstract painting. The library on the left is a building I would love to love; it's good that it's there, and preferable to its predecessor, but that side is chilly.

The loss of the Gateway was regrettable. If only we'd waited a bit more; if only they'd fixed it up. But this is what it looked like towards the end.

Perhaps parts were irredeemable, but they could have saved something. Even then, the part of Washington Avenue by the viaduct was an utter dump, and the rows of apartment and condos are 1000x better. People are living downtown now, and that means the city won't face a fate like it did when the Gateway slid into disrepair.

Doesn't mean we won't lose more, but if we lose the TCF bank and keep Macy's - sorry, Dayton's - that seems a fair trade.