Before: The corner of 8th St. and MacDougal in front of the famous 8th St. Bookshop. (Pictured is peace activist David McReynolds delivering a "Ban The Bomb" speech on September 18, 1960.  

Before: The corner of 8th St. and MacDougal in front of the famous 8th St. Bookshop. (Pictured is peace activist David McReynolds delivering a "Ban The Bomb" speech on September 18, 1960.  

After: The same corner, now a chain coffee spot, in September 2015. People came to the Village for, among other things, independent bookstores. Save the Village or it will be nothing BUT awful chain stores.

After: The same corner, now a chain coffee spot, in September 2015. People came to the Village for, among other things, independent bookstores. Save the Village or it will be nothing BUT awful chain stores.

How it was and what it now is: The Save the Village tours highlight lowlights like this. Only YOU can prevent forest fires, as Smokey the Bear used to say. Well, only YOU can prevent future abominations such as this one, where the nerve center of a literary generation morphs into a cookie cutter coffee joint that could easily be found in any strip mall in America.