Downtown Opelika is a busy and bustling place these days. Great places to eat and shop. Nice stops to sit and talk and watch the world pass. But over the past few years I’ve personally found a disturbing trend in some aspects that have changed from original concepts of the Historic District. It was half a dozen years ago, the out of town owner put a metal awning over several windows of his two story building. The city quickly moved in and made him cover the tin with a cloth awning. Since then balcony spaces have been allowed a tin roof cover. Several of those were new construction, one a replacement for an awning torn in a storm. Now, it’s not just rooftop tin, but awning replacements made of the materials. Most notably in the past few weeks, the awning replacement at the Cottage Walk. Is the Historic Commission bending the rules for one of its members? I don’t know, but I don’t like the idea of downtown shops replacing colorful fabric awnings with cold corrugated metal. We are returning to an old wild west look. I’m just saying!