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A generous gesture

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After a long search for a site to create a visitors' center for Galax, the city has been given the perfect building in a surprise move by a philanthropic downtown property owner.

Johnny Parsons has provided the ideal spot for a visitors' center in his donation of his former law office at the corner of East Grayson Street and Rex Lane.

It's right in the heart of downtown Galax — across from the historic Rex Theater, the municipal building and popular shopping spots like Chapters Book Store and Purple Feet wine shop; adjacent to the famous Galax Smokehouse restaurant; across from public parking lots; and around the corner from the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts. Really, there couldn't be a better spot downtown.

The city didn't actively seek the donation. Parsons basically handed it over with the stipulation that it be restored to its original, historic status.

This is the kind of gesture that will help the City of Galax in its ongoing efforts to revitalize the historic shopping district and make it a must-visit stop for tourists.

Visitors can easily be directed to several blocks worth of unique boutiques and restaurants, music venues, art galleries, craft shops and antique stores. Best of all, they only have to park once.

Parsons should be commended for this selfless act. Like the similarly donated Rex Theater, they've been handed the keys to something that could unlock downtown's potential.