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How important is The Riviera, considering that there may well be little remembrance of former things remaining through time and that there may be little remembrance of today by those who follow us and by those who follow them?

The present, although built on the efforts, accomplishments, and failures of the past, gives each new generation a life and concern unto itself, and that sometimes means with little attachment to the past and with limited regard for the future. This planet is not a kind one in providing much of the past to seep into the future in any kind of recognizable form. The oxygen-rich environment of the earth does not help. Oxygen is the most obnoxious of elements when it comes to dissolving everything around it. Plate tectonics doesn’t help either, and what does not dissolve in water over time? But, in the short term, present and former social and cultural decisions should have a direct effect on the future.

Which brings us all the way back to the Riviera reconstruction, update, redo or maintenance project. Nobody knows yet what it really is. The transition between generations is normally gradual, with several generations living in semi-isolation from one another at the same time. Each generation has itself as its primary focus as it matures. It develops a secondary focus on the generation to follow and is influenced by those around it. Each generation has a handful of new leaders, idols, businesses, and music that emerge to represent the essence of that generation, but they soon fade over time. Occasionally there are thoughts, foresight, and icons that are built or taken to benefit the generations that follow. Not only does failure to remember blunders of the past doom one to blindly repeat them, but the past is the security and the foundation on which each generation stands, and failure to preserve it is to let the security of that foundation crumble and collapse under us. Few truly understand the value of the past, except for those who have had it collapse under them or in some way have lost it.

The Riviera is an icon of the city’s past, and it like Geneva Lake, Yerkes and Hillmoor needs to be retained, and not re-purposed to become representative of something else entirely. To re-purpose The Riviera would be to destroy its essence, leaving only a façade of that valued past, just as the attempt to re-purpose Geneva Lake would destroy the lake as current and past generations have known it. There is no other icon or symbol of the City of Lake Geneva, other than the lake itself, that symbolizes the city better than The Riviera pier complex. It would be a disgrace to the city and its residents if this current city council (all of whom are aged and living in a generation already being relegated to the past) lets it be re-purposed, sold or visually altered in any way.

So, to answer the question: how important is The Riviera to the City of Lake Geneva?

The Riviera is more important than most can imagine, because as long as The Riviera continues as The Riviera complex everyone knows and identifies with, it will continue to symbolize and represent the City of Lake Geneva, its residents, and their appreciation and respect for those in current and past generations who live on by preserving things of value, grace and beauty for those generations coming in the future.

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