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.
As for The DTM, while it’s still about trying to keep an accurate listing of restaurants (is that so hard?) and keeping track of your typical downtown-related stories, it’s also about chronicling the unfolding history of our community with an inquisitive and independent-minded spirit. Enjoy!
David McNair, founding editor