Remembering Downtown Discussion Q&A

Remembering Downtown

Participants of the Remembering Downtown event generated the following questions and comments. Please feel free to continue the conversation by leaving a comment to address any of these questions or to ask new ones. Please check back periodically as updates will be posted as they become available.

What can we learn from the history of our downtown since the era of urban renewal?

How does a building get demolished when it is on the historic register?

Why does knocking down buildings help keep business downtown? What was the rationale?

How does the community feel about where the “New Municipal Building” (our city building) should be put up?

How do we get people to support downtown business?

Is there still a “body shop” somewhere?

Can we make the municipal building a museum with parks?

Can we build other options downtown such as a bus or train station, a teen center, a resource center for young people who have been in jail?

Why don’t cops walk a beat anymore?

Can the parking lot next to Jack Brown’s be turned into multi-use retail?

Won’t building more downtown create new parking problems?

Can we have more flowers downtown?How can we get the official leadership (council, commissioner, etc.) to become representative of “all the people” who live here?

Why was there no talk of segregation and prejudice? What was the experience of Jews or Catholics or Blacks who were downtown in these times?

When were African-Americans allowed to eat at the lunch counters?

Who makes the decisions about what buildings will be razed?

What was Harrisonburg’s population?

1940 – 8,768
1950 – 9,518
1960 – 11,916
1970 – 14,605
1980 – 19,671

When was the Warren Hotel torn down?


Was the Kavanaugh Hotel on the National Registry?

Kavanaugh Hotel does not appear to have been on the National Registry.

Why was the prison put right downtown?

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