Colonnade Will Soon Become Centerpiece of Corner on Main In Banner Elk (2018-06-21 15:13:23)

A rock colonnade framed with a timber roof is now under construction at the Corner on Main park. The colonnade will serve as the park’s centerpiece, providing shaded public seating on streetscape benches in the heart of downtown Banner Elk.

Construction began in early June and is expected to conclude by the end of July. The project also includes the installation of a bicycle repair station and bike rack.

“Not only will the colonnade be the centerpiece of the park, it will become a focal point for the entire town,” said town manager Rick Owen.

Funding for the colonnade was provided by donations from Ron and Kathy Assaf, and Elaine J. Wold. Funding for the bicycle repair station and bike rack was provided by local cycling enthusiasts.

The park itself owes its existence to Wold’s philanthropy and vision. She has been the driving force behind the three-year project to remove a vacant building at the most visible spot in town and convert the property into a public green space.

“The entire park project would not have been possible without Mrs. Wold’s interest and commitment,” Owen said.

Once the colonnade is finished, Owen said the park’s infrastructure and facilities will be 90 percent complete. The town’s goal is to fund and install the remaining 10 percent of infrastructure and facilities by the end of the summer, then wrap up the entire project this fall with professional landscaping.

To complete the infrastructure and facilities by summer’s end, the town needs to secure private donations for streetscape benches, decorative light poles and professional landscaping. The benches cost $3,000 apiece and the light poles are $4,000 apiece, and the total for landscaping is $35,000.

“We only need three or four people to provide funding for one of those features and that would take care of it,” said Owen. “We would love to be able to finish it by the end of the summer and have enough funds raised for the landscaping to put the finishing touches on the project this fall.”

The Town of Banner Elk has made it a point to rely almost solely on private donations to develop the Corner on Main, which has produced a popular public green space with very little taxpayer funds.

“The park has become a focal point when you come through town,” said Owen. “It has also been a catalyst to spur others to improve their properties around town.”

To learn more contact Rick Owen. Email, or call(828) 898-5398.

Photo (left to right): Mayor Brenda Lyerly, Kathy Aman, Elaine Wold, and Kathy and Ron Assaf