Blue Ribbon Commission Gives Tour of Controversial Landmarks

Posted: Updated: Aug 13, 2016 06:35 PM

The Blue Ribbon Commission is opening up the discussion about Charlottesville's historical landmarks. On Saturday morning, the commission invited the public to take a tour of controversial landmarks in the city.

It was hot and humid early Saturday morning but that didn't stop nearly 50 people, both newcomers and lifelong residents, from showing up to add their thoughts concerning the controversial landmarks that are displayed throughout the city.

“We are newcomers to the area and this is a part of the history, I think is really pivotal in why we are moving to a city. We really want to be around people who are talking about this kind of history,” said Claire Miller.

“People in the community have come forward and said there are race and issues about these marks and some others that we are maybe trying to enhance,” said Don Gathers of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

The Blue Ribbon Commission has been charged with recommending to city officials how to best handle the issues surrounding controversial landmarks.

“I just ask and plead that folks understand that what we recommend is just that, a recommendation. The ultimate decision lies with the council,” said Gathers.

The amount of people that came showed the commission how important this is to resolve soon.

“It just says that people feel very strongly about this issue one way or the other,” said Gathers.

“I had just been feeling distressed about some of the memorials I was seeing, and to find out are other people are wanting to change at all the messages that we're giving or what's going on right now in the city about these things?" said Miller.

The tour started at the Slave Auction Block plaque in downtown Charlottesville and the group visited nine landmarks before concluding with a meeting at CitySpace. 

The commission will make their recommendation by November and the city could come to a resolution during their meetings in December.

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