Construction crews working on the new Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville last week uncovered a building foundation near College Street, a find that requires a look-see by staff from the city’s historic-resources office, the State Historic Preservation Office and an archaeologist.
The preservationists’ review is a requirement that came with some federal funding received by the Pack Square Conservancy, which is overseeing the new park’s construction. The concrete foundation doesn’t appear to be very old, according to conservancy spokeswoman Donna Clark, but it still has to be examined. The crew will be on the scene today.
Construction is going well so far, says Mark Durbin, the owner’s representative for the Pack Square Conservancy. “We’ve got some subtle changes here and there, but overall it’s going really well.”
Here’s a look at other developments in the park:
• A large half-circle sign made of concrete and granite, and featuring metal lettering, is taking shape in the northeast corner of the park site in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse. “That’s our first sign that starting to come out of the ground,” says Durbin. “That will be the first real item that people will see.” The new veteran’s memorial will be nearby.
• A number of trenches have been dug and footings have been poured for the main stage running in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse and Asheville City Hall, as well as for a pergola behind the stage.
• Work continues on an interactive water fountain that will feature LED lighting and jets of water shooting upward.
• Progress Energy is finishing up work it’s been doing on an electrical vault in the middle of the park. Once crews are done, the site will be stabilized and readied for the construction of a pavilion, which should begin in October.
Valley Crest Landscape Development was awarded a $7.5 million contract earlier this year to perform the work on the 6.5-acre park. The construction is scheduled to be complete in September 2009.
Ground was initially broken four years ago on the park-remodeling job, which has a total price tag of about $20 million in private donations and public funds.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor