A group of several tombstones loomed over 10th street place over the past few days in Modesto.
The tombstones bore the names of several downtown businesses that have gone under over the past few years in the downtown area.
The display was a silent protest said Kimberly Humke, in the hopes of creating awareness of what she called a "fragile downtown ecosystem."
"It's a shocking number of businesses." Humke said. "I want this to generate a community dialogue to help and fix and turn around the direction our downtown is getting into."
Humke noted high rents, empty storefronts, and lack of activity as contributors to a downturn in business.
"Every time a business closes, it makes it less desirable and less encouraging for other businesses to come to downtown."
Humke says a vibrant downtown and good public safety strategies is a good step toward attracting and growing businesses.