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Pack Square Park
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Pack Square and its surrounding area, stretching down to the courthouse and city building, has always been the main gathering area for people in downtown Asheville. Originally a trade hub for Appalachian animal herders it has come to play an important role in the lives of Asheville citizens. During times of war, it has served as an area to see soldiers off as well as welcome them home. It has been the site of many years of Bele Chere Festival, countless years of Shindig on the Green, Friday After Five and so many more Asheville NC outdoor activities. In 1999, in an effort to revamp the park, the Pack Square Park Renaissance task force was formed in Asheville North Carolina. Bringing in a new era of lush green space, water features, architecture, roadways, pedestrian walkways, and venue space, Pack Square Park was opened in the summer of 2009.
Asheville Comes Together to Rebuild a Dream
A new park for a new century: the current state of the park is a close second to the grand vision that George Pack had over 100 years ago thanks to five years of planning and four years of construction. The beginning of the reformation of Pack Square Park in Asheville NC came in the form of a call to action in 1999 when a leak in the fountain at Pack Square was creating an underground erosion problem, which could eventually lead to problems for roadways. After the Pack Square Park Renaissance task force was created in 2000, Urban Design Associates and LaQuatra Bonci Associates were commissioned to create drawings as proof-of-concept artwork as well as a survey and impact assessment of the Downtown Asheville area. Late in 2000, the Pack Square Conservancy is organized to provide fund raising, planning, design, construction, and an endowment for the Park’s future preservation, all of which helped form the vision and the means to make Pack Square Park a vibrant part of Asheville North Carolina.
Big Dreams for Downtown Asheville
In 2004, public input mixed with professional plans for the site. By March of 2004, the landscape architecture had been completed. It was determined that there would be a required total of $12.5 million in funds needed to create the Park as well as an endowment for its future. In 2005, after a unanimous approval of Fred Bonci’s design development drawings, the estimate for the park was raised to a total of $14.5 million, after which Congress approved a $4 million grant. Officially, the groundbreaking event for the beginning of construction on the Park was on August 18, 2005. Construction began on September 22, 2005. By the end of the fiscal year 2005, the Pack Square Conservancy had raised $9.6 million for the park (aside from the $4 million federal grant).
Funding Pack Square in Asheville North Carolina
From 2006 to 2007, construction costs nationwide were skyrocketing, and Western North Carolina was no exception. This led the conservancy to re-estimate the amount of funds required to complete Pack Square Park construction so that it could adequately raise money to see the project through to its finish. The estimate provided by a new independent estimator raised the total estimated cost to $20.5 million.
Building a Park for Western North Carolina
In August 2007, crews completed the infrastructure as well as the goal of laying more than 10,000 bricks over almost seven acres in downtown Asheville. During and after this time, Overland Partners, a sustainable design team, designed a 4,200 sq.ft. pavilion to be built out of granite and glass. Fisher Architects went on to work with Beverly-Grant contractors to work on the building. By the end of 2007, the Park Conservancy had raised over $16 million, and the Pack Square Park was well underway to becoming another important part of the tapestry of the Blue Ridge Mountains various natural attractions.
Pack Square in Asheville NC is Open for All
As of 2010 Pack Square Park is open for public enjoyment. Thanks to the hard work of many, locals and visitors alike can experience the community spirit native to the Blue Ridge Mountains, which has found personification in the Pack Square Park in the heart of Downtown Asheville. With fountains, green space, local artwork, and a stage, the park is a hub for all things Asheville North Carolina. Check the Pack Square Park website for information on upcoming festivals and concerts, and how you can be a part of making Ashville North Carolina a greener place.