Build downtown parking deck not for sake of the buildings but for people

November 23, 2003

Dear Editor:

To some extent, downtown Danville is not dying. Buildings are not alive, and they can only suffer material decay. Far worse is the death of ideas, the idea of citizenship, for example.

A vibrant downtown is, therefore, only the outward sign of something central to our lives. And for something to be central there must be a center, right?

For Danville, this midpoint is at the crossroads of Third and Main. It is, therefore, natural for this intersection to be the site of a public debate over Danville's future.


But let us be honest with ourselves: This is not a debate about dying buildings. They are made of stone, metal and wood. This debate is about our own civic degeneration and decay. It is we, the citizens of Danville, who are empty, not the buildings.

We will be emptier still if we turn our back on this opportunity and refuse state and federal help to reinvigorate Danville.

I ask the support of an enlightened mayor, John Bowling, for this project. Our mayor's patriotism is unimpeachable. But love of country, never more necessary than in these troubling times, means love of town and love of countryside.

Where does that kind of patriotism begin? For us in Danville, it begins at the crossroads called Third and Main.

Build the parking deck, not for the sake of the buildings, but for the sake of the people who will inhabit them. They are called citizens.

Ken Keffer


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