Opinion

Moving courthouse would hurt downtown

For almost 150 years my family has owned property and businesses in downtown Macon. Since 1939 I have worked in downtown Macon.

I was surprised and saddened to hear of plans to relocate the Courthouse of Bibb County to Oglethorpe Street, eight blocks away from its present location on Mulberry Street. This would result in the closing of office buildings, restaurants and businesses in the area.

I have seen downtown in its prime and in its despair. Now, with success, a great effort is being put forth to revitalize this central business district.

Examples of new buildings constructed, existing ones restored and others with restoration in progress can be found all over the area. To move the courthouse, a prominent unit of the district, will be a tremendous blow to this restoration effort.

The proposed undertaking will cost $60 million or more. As an alternative, I suggest consideration be given to purchasing an adjacent building, which is available, and restoring the present building, making the needed changes in construction. This would be an additional plus to the restoration of downtown wanted by all and the cost will be less.

Walter Dannenberg is a resident of Macon.

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