Blue lights are once again shining at the Lakewood Colonial Center! Built in 1937, it was known as the Lakewood Community Center and represented a new way of life for the Lakes District. Developed by Norton Clapp, Lakewood Development Company, it was the first suburban shopping center west of the Mississippi.
It is rumored his first wife Mary Cordelia Davis’s favorite color was blue. Hence the beginning of decorating the Colonial Center with blue lights during the Christmas season. Mary (Davis) Clapp inspired owners of nearby shopping centers to follow the color scheme, and in the late 1930’s blue bulbs symbolized the holiday spirit of community businesses. For decades, people would travel from all over the South Sound to see the City luminous with sparkling blue lights ~ and it became a destination for holiday shoppers. Sadly, business complexes were bought and sold, often to those who have no local ties. The blue lights aged, and by the 1970’s were all but a warm memory to locals.
But they took on new meaning after Nov. 29, 2009, when our four Lakewood police officers were gunned down at a Parkland coffee shop. In the weeks after the tragedy, blue lights blazed throughout the region in memory of Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens.
The blue lights are scarcely used by the business community ~ and the goal is to reawaken this tradition of the blue lights as they were 80 years ago beginning December 2019.
A community awareness campaign showcasing the business district along Gravelly Lake Drive will be the primary focus, although the entire
community is encouraged to “go blue.”
The Chamber of Commerce is is encouraging residents and the business community to honor this Lakewood tradition ~ and to especially honor Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens to “go blue.”
The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce still has strings of blue lights if you can’t find them in local stores.Print This Post