February 1, 2015

BlockWork extreme makeover project grew in 2012

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 3, 2013

SALISBURY — More than 100 volunteers turned out for the second annual BlockWork neighborhood improvement project, organizers told City Council on Tuesday.
Residents and students of all ages descended on the 1000 block of South Fulton Street Oct. 27 for a one-day intensive makeover that included landscaping, painting, sidewalk repair, art installations and, most challenging, a new roof on one house.
The 2011 BlockWork in the 200 and 300 blocks of South Shaver Street attracted more than 80 volunteers.
Jon Cerny and Barbara Perry of the city’s Community Appearance Commission presented an overview of 2012 Blockwork, including before and after photos showing dramatic improvements to residential and commercial properties.
The mix of homes and businesses gives the 1000 block of South Fulton a unique character, Cerny said.
Neighborhood anchors Cut Up and Dye Salon and Mambo Grill received special treatment. Volunteers did extensive landscaping at Cut Up and Dye and repainted outdoor furniture, while Salisbury High School art students painted a mural for the side of the building.
Mambo Grill and Ibiza Deli established the Caribbean tone for the entire block, and volunteers installed custom planters and a bike rack at the sister restaurants.
For the second year, Rodney Queen donated all landscaping materials.
Removing overgrown bushes and unsightly volunteer trees helped to reveal architectural details of the early 20th century homes on the block, Cerny said.
A traveling youth group had coincidentally chosen to paint a house on the block, where Medina Brothers Construction also was volunteering to replace the roof.
Participants installed picket fences throughout the block to help prevent cut-through foot traffic. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students also installed a sculpture titled “Helping Hands” to symbolize the spirit of BlockWork.
In 2011, the city won a USA Weekend Make a Difference Day Award for BlockWork, including $10,000 that served as seed money for the 2012 project.
BlockWork also received grants from the Robertson Foundation and Woodson Foundation, as well as donations from property owners. City Planner Lynn Raker oversees the event.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.