A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Judy Clabes: Danville rolls out red carpet
for tour of available space downtown


Main Street in Danville. (Photo by Judy Clabes.)

Main Street in Danville. (Photo by Judy Clabes.)

 

Danville – the “It’s better here” community – held a walking tour and open house of empty and available properties in its historic downtown Thursday. And, in spite of a drizzling rain, a lot of folks showed up to take a look.

 

The walking tour was the brainchild of Bethany Rogers, new executive director of the Heart of Danville Main Street Program – and herself a recently-returned Danville native.

 

The walking group was a nice mix of space-seekers, Realtors, bankers and community activists. Top execs from Farmers National Bank which has an impressive presence downtown included President Greg Caudill, Sr. V.P. Bill Pollom, and V.P. Tom Poland.

 

(Photo bu Judy Clabes.)

An historic marker noting Boyle County’s first courthouse is one of many downtown. (Photo by Judy Clabes.)

The tours started and ended in Danville’s lovely, historic Constitution Square, which just recently transferred from the state to the county, and itself a destination worth visiting. See the first post office west of the Alleghenies and tour the home of Dr. Ephraim McDowell, the physician who performed the world’s first abdominal surgery. There’s a lot to appreciate about Danville’s history, its grand architecture, its warm, friendly atmosphere – and about Center College and its significant presence and influence in the town – and more.

 

But the purpose of the moment was to experience the opportunities in downtown Danville for new business, offices, services – and even residences.

 

“Our Economic Restructuring Committee feels more business variety, particularly restaurants and retail would help establish Danville as a true business, shopping and entertainment destination in Central Kentucky,” said Rogers.

 

A Heart of Danville recent survey showed residents wanted additional restaurants, clothing stores, a shoe store, a home goods store and a grocery or cooperative grocery. Respondents didn’t like having to drive miles to find what they need.

 

(Photo by Judy Clabes.)

The lofts in Danville’s historic Weisinger Building have been renovated and roughed in for either residential or business tenants. (Photo by Judy Clabes.)

The properties on the tour certainly presented a range of options – from late 19th century to early 20th century places with character and charm for sale or lease, small and large-to-larger footprints. They included the historic Weisinger Building whose space above first-floor eateries has been roughed in for spacious living or working areas with lofts – and views of the quaint streetscape. A former bank building offers office space – with availability of the old bank vault.

 

Most unique had to be the 1891 former Centenary Methodist Church, a Romanesque styled building complete with spectacular stained glass windows, a square tower and turret, and wrought-iron fenced courtyard. The courtyard is well-kept; the building needs loving, tender care – and an imaginative owner.

 

The Heart of Danville was established in 1986 as a national Main Streeet program to revitalize and promote the community’s history downtown.

 

With their first-ever walking tour, they are sending a strong message – and rolling out the red carpet. If you’re looking for an historic church, they can tell you right where to find one.

 

For information contact, Bethany Rogers, director@downtowndanville.com, or Jody Lassiter of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, jody@betterindanville.com.

 

Click the image below for a printable brochure
of available properties in Danville.

 

Empty Buildings Tour Booklet Small_325

 

Judy Clabes is editor and publisher of KyForward.com, Kentucky’s online newspaper.


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