Column: Vandalism of Prosper silos leaves new mark on old-town tradition


Morgan Reese

The words, “Big town, small heart,” sit next to the original saying on the silos in downtown Prosper. The people responsible for this graphitti have yet to be identified. “While this may seem like just a teenager messing around with a can of spray paint,” opinion writer Emma Hutchinson said. “It could be a message that has been yearning to reach the surface.”

Emma Hutchinson, Writer, Photographer

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Prosper walks fine line between being small town, D-FW’s next booming suburb

“Small town, big heart.” A short saying in pure white that means a thousand words to the citizens of Prosper, Texas. But now the roles have been reversed, according to the red graffiti placed over the friendly cursive writing on the local silos. While this may seem like just a teenager messing around with a can of spray paint, the “big-town-small-heart” message could be one that has been yearning to reach the surface.

As much as residents would like to keep the “small town” element, rapid growth and expansion have led to the diminishing of the once secluded small community. Every corner holds construction medical offices, restaurants, shopping centers you name it. Neighborhoods attempt to market the “know your neighbors by name” motto, but that only goes to show how the tight-knit community aspect has faded. Our town is not what it used to be, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the kind-hearted foundations should not be sacrificed for commercial retail and business.

With the opening of the Gates of Prosper shopping plaza and construction on Phase 2 of the project, Prosper has become a hotspot for retail and chain restaurants. This leaves the original downtown area of Prosper to collect dust, with only a few cafes and offices remaining in the brick buildings. On the contrary, surrounding towns have been making good use of their historic downtown areas, such as Celina and McKinney. Both offer a variety of unique shops and restaurants that radiate a vintage atmosphere, which has become a popular destination factor for locals and others in the area. If Prosper’s tiny downtown turned into a McKinney or even Celina downtown, it would bring in profit while also keeping the historical foundations.

One thing that the majority of Prosper citizens can agree on is how the property taxes are quite high–in fact, Prosper ISD’s property tax rate is one of the highest in Collin County, according to Frisco Home Centers Realty. The big question is, where is all that money going? You can see it right next to the high school, bright lights aglow with a giant TV lighting up the rows and rows of empty bleachers. As stunning as it is, most states can’t even begin to comprehend why a school district needs $48 million put into a football stadium. This town is becoming a much bigger development, we can’t ignore it, but our money should go toward projects that are necessary to keep up with other cities instead of rushing to build an immense amount of chain businesses.

The vandalism of the silos was quick to gain backlash from Prosper Facebook, which it should’ve; the iconic photo-op spot has now been ruined for good. But the message it reflects needed to be said, just not in that way. The growth of Prosper has opened many doors for its residents, and we invite change with open arms, but there is undoubtedly a line between small town and bustling city that Prosper is walking on. We want to keep the heart of Prosper alive, no matter how much the anatomy changes. For now, we are still Prosper, and we are still one.