I know and admire a lot of people who disagree with me on this, but I think the courthouse in Abingdon should be moved.
We had an office for about a year across from the courthouse and on court days parking and traffic were more than difficult. I wonder if there have been any interviews of businesses surrounding the courthouse and how it affects their business.
Several merchants including restaurants in the vicinity say they notice no advantage to courthouse traffic or clientele in terms of sales but agree that finding a parking spot and traffic are a disadvantage to customers. Lawyers, many of whom have offices close to the courthouse, have been very vocal about wanting to maintain the courthouse where it is. I guess having to get in the car would be a hardship for them?
The old Food City store will be empty soon. The Kmart is empty; other stores will want to close when there are no anchor stores. So what if ...
The current historical courthouse becomes a museum. With its architecture, including the Tiffany window, all could enjoy it.
The offices located there become Abingdon Town offices.
Town Hall becomes a wing of Barter, so they are not spread out all over the place.
The old treasurer’s building is sold as a business — a great restaurant or mini mall?!
The Sheriff’s Department could be located there — much closer to where their services and appearances are frequented. Their current location is not very convenient.
Tourism is our biggest economic driver. The changes that would have to be enacted in place such as a parking garage are just not compatible with our quaint historical image. Considering the expected square footage needs of the court in the future, I think the smart, economic move is to change locations.