Photo of David McNair by Anita Byers.The DTM takes its name from a local short-hand used for Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, a 9-block stretch of Main Street that was converted into a pedestrian mall in the 1970s. As a local reporter for many years, I noticed that much of what happens of cultural, political and social importance in the community often involves this urban experiment, what the late Bill Lucy, a UVA architecture professor of urban and environmental planning, referred to as a “sacred” place in our community where people “commune, share ideas, and eat together.” Indeed, in addition to some of our best restaurants, music venues, cafes and a such, the DTM is also home to our local government, our court systems, our cultural centers, our major festivals; and perhaps more significantly, to the troubling aspects of our shared history and the promises for the future.

David McNair, founding editor.

David McNair is an award-winning reporter and editor based in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was a staff writer for The Hook, which won the state’s top journalism prize from the Virginia Press Association three times, and wrote about world affairs for Takepart.com.


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