Danville River District Revitalization

Once a bustling center of commerce teaming with tobacco warehousing, mills, manufacturing, and rail activity; Danville had slowly retracted from its former economic vigor. Recently a focus on business recruitment, community and quality of life has supported a new vision for the future of the core of the City, known as the “River District”. This new vision has spurred the implementation of several high profile public spaces designed to reconnect the community, provide amenities and enhance business activity.

LPDA led a multidisciplinary team implementing key physical improvements to reconnect downtown businesses and properties to more vibrant and functional streets and pedestrian spaces. Phase I work included 3 blocks of Main Street, from Floyd Street to Craighead Street, and a block of Union Street, an important commercial and recreational corridor connecting the center of town to the riverfront. Improvements included vehicular lane reconfigurations, parallel parking, sidewalk widening, pedestrian safety improvements and a series of public spaces and amenities which complement and facilitate revitalization efforts and increasing business activity.

Phase II work included a gateway and urban plaza in a  underutilized space between roadways and bridges. This key entry corridor to downtown was encumbered by an odd pattern of ingress and egress. A new “Main Street Plaza” was envisioned as a prominent public space, which would facilitate community activity and a meaningful connection between downtown and the riverfront. LPDA provided design services for this landmark space. The multifunctional public space serves as a downtown gateway, public park and pedestrian promenade connecting the Dan River to the historic downtown and warehouse districts.

The park is designed with pedestrian amenities at the core of the program, creating promenades along storefronts, facilitating cross street access, and developing an “allee” style connection to the riverfront. The park and plaza facilitate multiple functions, gathering and every aspect of City life. A civic style fountain serves as the focal point. Materials and signage interpret the history of the River District and the Dan River.

The projects were designed and approved under tight time constraints and resulted in the successful implementation of over six million dollars in improvements. VDOT Revenue Sharing program funds were utilized for construction.


Danville, VA
City of Danville
Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Lighting Design, Local & VDOT Approvals
3 Blocks