“Put the historic monument back up and remove the Vance name and then install the names of people who made Asheville what it was.”
“I think the monument should celebrate protest.”
“The final piece in the ‘anywhere USA aesthetic’ has concluded with the dismantling of a time capsule dressed in ancient Egyptian fashion at Pack Square, done with such haste it’s partial and in legal limbo.”
While some historians were already telling fuller stories before the monument’s removal, others have been inspired by its absence.
“We the people need to be informed, but it is hard when they are having meetings by Zoom all the time.”
Xpress readers offered up a raft of thought-provoking letters to the editor, commentaries and comments about local affairs in 2021.
“I live in Asheville, and I’m wondering why people care more about the homeless than the police who are deciding to quit because of the people in charge not backing them up, and [people] running around shooting up places?”
Western North Carolina is grappling with a controversial part of its history: monuments erected in commemoration of Confederate figures. In May, after months of debate and consideration by a specially appointed task force, Asheville began removing the Vance Monument, an obelisk honoring the late Confederate military officer and former Gov. Zebulon Baird Vance. And in […]
“This raises the question of what funds are being used for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and how they can be better allocated all around to create a positive cycle of change.”
“Each segment of the community is yelling at the elected officials to promote its particular point of view, but there’s no structure for helping us all listen to one another across differences, en route to achieving mutually agreeable solutions.”
“What a great opportunity for Asheville and the Chamber of Commerce to pronounce Asheville as Rock City, N.C., in competition with Rock City, Tenn.”
“Regarding Charlotte Street development, etc.: Outrageous that Avl taxpayers’ property tax is raised 22% without a plan to preserve trees that lure residents and tourists.”
“Let’s replace that obelisk with a giant microphone in honor of the late, great Nina Simone!”
“To maintain civic cohesion, we must convince these souls that despite the failure of their cause, they can return to the fold as legitimate members of this community. Think of it as a kind of reconstruction.”
Work started May 17, and demolition of the 123-year-old monument to Zebulon Baird Vance in downtown Asheville is expected to take two weeks to complete, says city spokesperson Polly McDaniel. Costs to take down the structure block by block will reach roughly $114,000, while an additional $25,500 has been allocated for site restoration following the monument’s removal.
“There are other costs that need to be factored in, particularly for those in our community who see the monument, whether named for a historical figure or having a different name, as one that would remain hurtful and even traumatic if it continues to stand.”
“Perhaps with a creative compromise, the past and future can be forged together for healing.”
“Here’s a thought experiment that might help put things in perspective: Long ago, let’s say 1897, the people of Buncombeville erected a 65-foot statue in the shape of a gigantic fish and dedicated it to ‘Jesus Christ: Savior. Healer. Orator. Rebel. Winemaker.'”
“Could it be more affordable and beneficial to use what’s already there and make it work together, rather than tearing it down?”
“Why haven’t the public comments to the Vance Monument commission been published on a website so we can have an informed discussion?”