Now and forever?
Last months story “Where is Londonderry Town Center” 80% that took our Londonderry poll voted that it was the existing Londonderry Town Common. Our most recent poll asked where will it be once Woodmont Commons is built. The leader of DPZ Andres Duany said several times in the design charette that “the new town center will be in this village” that is just the way it works with planned village concepts, “we just don’t know exactly where it will be.”
Our poll over the last week only 23% agree, it will be in the new city of Woodmont Commons. The rest just continue to hold onto the tradition of our historic town common will remain at Mammoth and Pillsbury. As community members gathered last weekend for Santa and the tree lighting, next weekend for the laying of the Blue Star mothers Wreath of Remembrance they feel forever, the place to gather is around the soldiers Monument and bandstand.
Londonderry town center was once in what today is East Derry around the First Parish church. When the towns split a new meeting house was needed in the farmland of Londonderry sparking the construction of the Londonderry Presbyterian Church. The civil war monument firmed up the place to gather just as photography was invented. The bandstand drove the “center of town stake” further into the ground at the Bicentennial Old Home Day celebration.
Back in Derry as the industrial age arrived and rail came through town, for them the center of activities moved from East Derry to “Derry Depot” home of transportation, factories and workforce housing for those in the shoe industry. While not “town center” it was the center of the action and a stop on the way to North Londonderry, Manchester and beyond.
Is it just a matter of time, will the unstoppable forces of commerce and development make the selection of “Town Center” for Londonderry? Or will it be a selection made by those that live here?