Pictured is the Old Jail at 130 W. New York Ave. in Downtown DeLand.

Editor, The Beacon:

I was happy to read in The Beacon that the City of DeLand has rejected the contract with the private company that was planning the redevelopment of the space occupied by the deserted Old Jail building. This land is next to the heart and soul of Downtown DeLand, Artisan Alley.

This presents the city with a once-only opportunity to create a beautiful public space to not only accommodate the crowds of people who attend the Friday-night market and the special events that take place in the Alley, but to encourage more cultural events.

How about a stage for the music groups that play in the Alley, an additional venue for the annual Noble “Thin Man” Watts Jazz Festival, storytelling sessions, poetry slams, performances of the Volusia Arts jazz ensemble?

How about a children’s splash area and shade trees to counteract the effects of global warming? Another restaurant would reduce wait lines at the other eateries.

With the increasing densification of Downtown DeLand, more public space will be needed to maintain the vitality of the Downtown area. I hope the city will come up with a new vision of how to use the space for the future public enjoyment of the entire community.

Kathy Hersh



  1. Building a space that attracts public events, citizens, and visitors. No that’s a creative and awesome idea!


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