By Jesse Wood
Ceremonies for the restoration of two historical building projects in downtown Blowing Rock will occur this afternoon on Thursday, May 21.
The New Rotary Gazebo
At 4 p.m., a dedication ceremony for the new Rotary Gazebo in Memorial Park will happen. Several members of the Watauga Community Band, which initiated this project with a $10,000 donation, will start playing music at 3:45 p.m.
Lynn Lawrence will sing the national anthem to kick off the ceremony and Mayor Pro-Tem Al Yount and Blowing Rock Rotary President John Marshall will say a few words. The ribbing cutting for the gazebo should wrap up the event.
“It just came out beautiful,” Marshall said.
The gazebo was originally built in 1976 and had structural damage.
Marshall noted that this was a community effort with a number of local business, organizations and individuals chipping to complete the project in time for Memorial Day weekend. The Town of Blowing Rock was also instrumental in providing financial support and labor.
“Everybody chipped in and that’s the thing that makes it really nice,” Marshall said. “It was such a community-wide project.”
The overall project cost about $80,000. Of that total, the Town of Blowing Rock donated $3,000 cash and $4,640 worth of labor for demolition. But it also funded $34,880 of site improvements.
Other donations are as follows:
- $40,000 from the Rotary Club
- $10,000 from the Watauga Community Band
- $10,000 in materials from New River Building Supply
- $5,500 in labor from 4 Forty Four Construction
- $3,000 in labor from David Moore Builders
- $2,400 in labor from Steve Price, Architect
$50,000 Check Presentation by Historical Society
Following the gazebo dedication ceremony, the Historical Society in Blowing Rock will present a $50,000 check to the Town of Blowing Rock for the extensive renovation project of the American Legion Building.
American Legion Post 256 was established in 1946 and local members constructed the building in the ‘50s. In 2011, the Town of Blowing Rock took over the property and began discussions on renovations. While the town received a $142,500 N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund matching grant, it wasn’t enough to fulfill the monetary needs of the project.
So, the Historical Society in Blowing Rock stepped in with a $50,000 donation.
Marsha Quinn, president of the Historical Society, said that this was a wonderful opportunity to preserve the integrity and history of those service men that built the original building with their own hands.