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Community Remembers Bryan Crough

June 18, 2013
Community Remembers Bryan Crough

An outpouring of shock and grief - as well as glowing words of support and praise - accompanied the sudden passing of Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Executive Director Bryan Crough Sunday evening of a massive heart attack. Crough, 59, had served in his position since 1990 and is credited with helping lead the revitalization of downtown Traverse City.

"It will take me a while to get my head around the idea that the man who built downtown Traverse City is no longer with us," said City Manager Ben Bifoss in an emailed statement.

A tireless advocate of the arts, Crough championed innumerable cultural projects and improvements to downtown during his tenure, including Friday Night Live, the City Opera House, the History Center, and the State Theatre (which changed its marquee Monday to read: "Bryan Crough - When We Look Down This Street We'll Always See You"). Under his watch, the city's two downtown parking decks were constructed, Tax Increment Financing was introduced and a handful of key developments brought new life to downtown, including Radio Center, River's Edge and 101 Park Street.

"(Bryan) never stopped fighting for a better downtown," the DDA said in a written statement yesterday, noting that the director was "a constant source of inspiration to the staff here."

In addition to his contributions at the DDA - for which he was awarded the Lyle DeYoung Downtown Achievement award in 2005 - Crough left his mark in many other areas of the community. A former Traverse City mayor and commissioner, Crough served as president of the Traverse City Rotary Club and was a board member at the Old Town Playhouse and the Traverse City Arts Council.

Another of Crough's achievements - his advocacy for funding the Clinch Park improvements currently underway along the bayfront - will be marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling the revitalized park next Tuesday, June 25, at 11 a.m.

"Unfortunately, Bryan will not be there to celebrate with us," said the DDA in its statement. "But we will surely celebrate him and the wonderful legacy he left us all."


Most Recent Comments

 
John S. Porter on June 21, 2013 2:22am

Brian was a great man. He had a filing system that allowed him to recall just about everything that has ever happened in TC. He understood what it takes to mobilize people behind a shared vision. He was a detail person and a visionary, personable and friendly, and he had a great sense of humor. He made local government work and was never mean spirited or arrogant. You had a great run Brian. Godspeed.

Denise Schott on June 20, 2013 2:53pm

Bryan was my cousin. I hadn't seen him for quite awhile. I am shocked to hear of his death. I know he loved Traverse City and was very proud of it's redevelopment. His energy will always be there. We had a lot of fun as kids.

Jan Bassett on June 19, 2013 1:02pm

Brian was an asset to the entire region. On many occasions he assisted us as we worked through planning projects in Elk Rapids. The Village Manager and I met with him many times over the years, and always came home feeling blessed to have a Brian as a friend and a supporter of the entire region.
His legacy is for all of us to continue on the path visioning our future.
Jan Bassett,
Village of Elk Rapids DDA

Nancy Newman on June 19, 2013 9:30am

I was sad to hear of Bryan's passing. I didn't know him well. We had a few short conversations in passing. Traverse City was in good hands. We will continue his works and his vision in his honor. Thank you, Bryan!

JANN LINDLEY on June 19, 2013 9:02am

I AM VERY SAD TO LOSE OUR LEADER,VISIONARY AND FRIEND. HIS SENSE OF HUMOR AND PASSION FOR TRAVERSE CITY WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

Tom Callison on June 18, 2013 6:51pm

I not only lost a good friend in Brian, indeed Traverse City lost its best advocate for a wide range of issues and he was a true champion for us all. Men of his vision and integrity are few and far between; I (We) will certainly miss him.

Kay Jerome on June 18, 2013 4:29pm

I too am shocked and devastated by the passing of Bryan. We are very fortunate to have had his expertise and commitment to our
downtown and community. He has left us with a firm foundation...
we will need to continue to move forward with careful consideration
for the "big picture"!...maintaining a community that embraces a quality experience for living, working and playing for all of us and our
visitors. Kay Jerome.

KC DeYoung on June 18, 2013 2:06pm

Brian stood up to the bullies,intollerant ignorant minded people and the good old boys club(Rotary); and brought downtown TC and the rest of the city along into a new and better place!

p.s. He did more for TC's downtown, and the city's look, feel and possibilities than any other single person in the last 75 years!


God's Speed Brian....

Susie Janis on June 18, 2013 11:02am

Bryan was "our generation" of people who fought tirelessly to maintain the integrity and beauty of our City. His "imprint" will leave a permanent
mark in our history and his "whole being" will be missed by all of us who worked, played and loved him totally as the man he was.

Rosie Kern on June 18, 2013 8:58am

Bryan will be missed - his energy, enthusiasm and dedication to all aspects of Traverse City. He was a true visionary.

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