Asheville’s big iron survives a big hit

It no doubt came as a shock to many a passerby to see the iconic Flat Iron sculpture, which sits at the intersection of Wall Street and Battery Park Avenue in downtown Asheville, torn six feet off its base on Feb. 28.

Just a bit of a wrinkle: The famous Flat Iron sculpture at the intersection of Battery Park Avenue and Wall Street, after being struck off its base by a car during a Feb. 28 police chase. Photo by Jason Sandford

On that Saturday, around 8:20 p.m., Asheville resident Cortez Lamont Anderson allegedly failed to stop for Asheville Police Department officers, who were trying to pull him over on suspicion of driving drunk.

Near the end of his run, Anderson roared up Wall Street, where his white Pontiac G6 ultimately collided with the sculpture, knocking over a planter and causing the iron to slide six feet off its base but not tip over. At press time, yellow “Caution” tape still covered the scene and the iron remained displaced.

According to the APD’s incident report, there were no injuries, and damage to property was minimal. Police apprehended Anderson on foot just after the crash.

Anderson was charged with resisting arrest, driving drunk, driving with his license revoked and fleeing arrest in a motor vehicle. He is currently being held in the Buncombe County Detention Facility on an $18,000 bond.

The 8-foot-tall sculpture, designed by Asheville sculptor Reed Todd, was modeled after the irons used at the turn-of-the-century Asheville Laundry.

The city hopes to get the famous iron back on its base soon.

“We hope to have it repaired this week,” Diane Ruggeiro, the city’s cultural arts superintendent, told Xpress on March 9. “The artist has been out of town and we wanted to involve them in the repair. But we’ve got everything ready to go from our end.”

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