Groundbreaking Underway for Next Phase of Blowing Rock ‘Streetscape’ Enhancements

Published Monday, April 16, 2018 at 4:32 pm

The Town of Blowing Rock officially started work on Phase 2 of the Laurel Lane Beautification Project. A special ceremony was held on a chilly Monday afternoon on Main Street.

By Nathan Ham

It might not have felt like spring outside on Monday in Blowing Rock, but elected officials and town citizens gathered on Main Street for an official groundbreaking ceremony on one of spring’s biggest projects in the town.

The Laurel Lane Beautification Project is a three-phase project that started in 2017, made possible through a public/private partnership between The Village Foundation, the Town of Blowing Rock and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

This is Phase 2 of the project, which will create the Mayview Plaza that will connect Laurel Lane to Main Street. The plaza will feature four stone monuments dedicated to the Blowing Rock Attraction, Tweetsie Railroad, Appalachian Ski Mountain and the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. There will also be a stone monument decided to the Mayview Manor and its historical significance to Blowing Rock. The manor was torn down in 1978.

“It’s really unique to me how we have so many people that have come in, brought our community to one level, and now we have so many people willing to take it to the next level with public private partnerships,” said Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers.

The chamber of commerce has also worked tirelessly to make this project happen after grants for the project were initially approved in spring of 2017.

“We’re really excited to have this going. We started 18 months ago on this and it has taken us quite a while to get this moving, but to really believe when we started this as a concept to be out here today with a construction crew on site is a testament to perseverance, a lot of hard work and a lot of help from a lot of people. I’m just really proud to be a part of this” said Jim Pitts, the chairman of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s economic development council.

Jim Clabough, the president of The Village Foundation, spoke briefly about being a part of this project.

“The Village Foundation has been established for around five years and we’ve contributed to several medium-sized projects and small projects, but this is the biggest project that we’ve been able to be involved with so far,” Clabough said.

The goal is to have this phase of the project finished by Memorial Day Weekend.

Mayor Charlie Sellers spoke briefly in the snow at Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony in Blowing Rock.

Jim Pitts, the chairman of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s economic development council, shared his thoughts on the project.

Jim Clabough, the president of The Village Foundation, spoke briefly about being a part of this project.

John Aldridge, the founder of The Village Foundation, shared a few words before manning a shovel for the ceremonial groundbreaking.

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