The Civic Center project was conceived as a way to bring needed revenues into the city of Danville and re-energize the downtown area. In September of 1975 the Governor of Illinois, Daniel Walker, approved Danville’s bid to create a Civic Center Authority. That meant a substantial, partially matched, grant from the State and the beginning of the Civic Center.
After nearly three busy years, ground-breaking finally occurred on August 17, 1978 at 2:30pm.turning the shovels were Mrs. Carol Smith the Chair of the Danville Civic Center Authority, Danville Mayor David S. Palmer, Bill Widman the Chair of the Danville Recreation Board and Robert Radmacher the Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Business and Economic Development.
The next two years were filled with debate and changes to the Civic Center to bring it in under budget and define its purpose. Mayor David S. Palmer was instrumental in keeping the plan on-track. In a March 10, 1985 article in the Commercial-News it was said of David S. Palmer, “He was proudest of the Civic Center. Accused of ‘pushing it through’ by those who saw no need for it, he once jokingly referred to it as the ‘Palmer House’.”
Finally, on September 20, 1980, the Civic Center was opened to the public.
Over the last 20 years the Civic Center has seen a lot pass through it’s doors, your doors, the doorway to entertainment in Danville. Come and be a part of history!