The Finishing Touch For Community Park Project
The Spruce Pine Main Street Central Park will receive an award in Design at the 2015 Main Street State Conference held in Goldsboro this year, from The NC Department of Commerce. Accepting the award on behalf of the community is SPMS Director – Libby Phillips; Appalachian State University team leaders – Jason Miller, AIA and Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, Associate Professor, NCIDQ, LEED A.P.; Dave and Cindy Lindsey from the Town of Spruce Pine and SPMS; and Chris McCurry – Former President, SPMS.
The Main Street Organization is near to my heart. It is inclusive, responsive, wholistic in construct and creates pathways to real action and revitalization. It is a great honor to have our project recognized at the State Main Street Conference. All that is best about the ideals of Main Street was integrated into this built project. It was a collaborative effort that bridged ideas. It turned “can’t” into “what if we could”. The project reflects core culture and values. This is a “Central Park” by every definition.
The mission of the Main Street Central Park project is to promote good business through good design. The Spruce Pine Main Street Economic Revitalization Committee has encouraged new growth, redevelopment, and reinvestment in the downtown commercial district of a small, naturally abundant mountain community.
The Central Park project has helped revitalize a downtown commercial site rendered vacant by a catastrophic fire in August 2007. From the ashes of this devastating event rose an opportunity for the community to re-envision the economic future of the downtown commercial district. This vision was shared with the Appalachian State University Department of Technology and Environmental Design who worked collaboratively on the development and created the design of this project.
In 2008, the Cooper Report created a roadmap for growth in Spruce Pine. Working with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler STAR team in 2011, the SPMS Economic Renewal Committee identified pressing community needs for public restrooms, a visitor’s information center, and a central downtown location for public events and festivals. The idea for a Central Park was planted.
Responding to unifying town themes of “River, Rocks, and Trees” – the natural, economic, and cultural building blocks of Spruce Pine – identified during community charrettes conducted by Penland School, the Toe River Arts Council, and Spruce Pine Main Street, the Central Park project has responded to immediate downtown needs while making a special place in the heart of the downtown district. The Main Street Central Park accomplished this by providing a design solution of sustainable site and building strategies that is sensitive the environment. Through the design efforts of architects, artists, builders, and landscapers; the vibrant arts and crafts culture of this community is celebrated in a collaborative, interdisciplinary work that is unique and of its place. Supporting this effort was local businesses, universities, organizations and Town government, all working together.