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The annual Memorial Day celebration takes place at Dame Shirley Plaza each year. An effort is underway to keep the site from being the location of a new courthouse. Feather Publishing file photo

Petition underway to save Dame Shirley; event this Thursday UPDATED

By Meg Upton


UPDATE: The demonstration scheduled for this evening, May 25, has been rescheduled due to weather. It will be held on Thursday, June 1, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

   “They paved paradise/put up a parking lot…” goes the Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi and perhaps goes the way of Dame Shirley Plaza a portion of it becomes the site of the next Plumas County Courthouse. It is one of a handful of sites being considered by the state’s Judicial Council, the entity responsible for selecting the location. Dame Shirley is located across Court Street from the courthouse and features the veterans memorial, as well as picnic tables. If this site is selected, proponents plan to locate the structure to minimize the impact on the plaza.

   A petition put together last week on Change.org by Quincy local Kyle Merriam to save Dame Shirley Plaza has close to a thousand signatures so far, mostly from locals in Quincy.

   “We oppose the construction of the new Plumas County courthouse building at Dame Shirley Plaza. This park is a beloved central hub of our community. To replace it with a large, highly secured government building and expansive parking lots would eliminate a central gathering place for our community, make Quincy less welcoming to outside visitors, and reduce the quality of life for Quincy residents,” the petition reads.

   There will be a demonstration reiterating this message on Thursday, May 25 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and an opportunity for those agreeing with letting the plaza remain open.

   One supporter of the petition to stop the new courthouse building taking over the area had this to say on change.org: “Dame Shirley Park is the ONLY greenspace in downtown Quincy. Neighbors, friends, kids, dogs, babies, live music, 100+ year old trees, vendors, laughter, joy, reflection, people watching, lunch at their favorite table, Friday night bike rides, laying out in the grass, legs crossed propped up by big tree, reading books, taking pictures, dogs chasing balls.You know what they call all of that? COMMUNITY.”

   Another petition signer remarked at the plethora of vacant buildings in downtown that could be purchased and revamped instead of destroying greenspace. Another remarked on the plaza being one of the most attractive features in Quincy.

4 thoughts on “Petition underway to save Dame Shirley; event this Thursday UPDATED

  • There is a courthouse in Portola now. Could it be updated?

  • What trees are 100+ years old?

  • What about the beautiful courthouse that sits empty in portola? Seems like a waste of a beautiful building that was built not sure why not used.

  • The removal of Dame Shirley Parking against what city planners and most cities advocate, and that is open green space within city centers. The idea of tearing it out goes against good city planning and advocating for the viability of a successful down town core. The appropriate location would be in the area where there currently exists county offices off of County Hospital/Golden Eagle Ave. This area would allow for adequate parking as well since parking near the current court house is nearly non-existent.

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