• 54°

10 to Watch in 2019: Bell Tower Green

Q&A

Bell Tower Green

Birthplace: Salisbury

Favorite book: “A History of Rowan County, North Carolina” by J. Rumple, which in 1753 has the first account of the desire for a commons park in downtown Salisbury

Who would play you in a movie? A combo of Romare Bearden Park in Charlotte and LeBauer Park in Greensboro, but with more trees

What would you want for your last meal? A picnic lunch preferably enjoyed in a new downtown Salisbury park

What is one thing Rowan County community should focus on for 2019? My neighbor, Empire Hotel

Who will you be watching in 2019? The city of Salisbury, both staff and council members

What is your reaction to being named as one of the “10 to Watch”? Truly a breath of fresh air

A gathering space for the community is the goal of the Bell Tower Green project.

A portion of “A History of Rowan County, North Carolina” mentions the need for a downtown Salisbury park, calling it a place “where the inhabitants might resort at will … and refresh themselves by breathing the pure air that comes whispering through the rustling leaves of the trees.”

Jason Walser, board vice president of Bell Tower Green Inc., said the need for a downtown park became particularly apparent after Rowan County’s softball championship.

“There was no area where everyone knew, ‘That’s where you go.’ Like in Charlotte, the Romare Bearden Park is where you go if the Panthers make the playoffs,” Walser said. “It’s for if something good happens.”

Construction on the park is set to begin in the spring, but preparation work has already started.

“Things are happening,” Walser said. “We have drawings happening. We have the design of the fountain happening. Streets are happening. We’re still raising money.”

In February, the project’s organizers will return to the Historic Preservation Committee to give updates and deliver materials requested at a previous meeting.

By fall of 2020, Walser said, the park should be fully functioning. The exact time is dependent on factors such as weather — which has slowed construction projects this year — funding and its timing.

“We have a lot to be proud of, but to me the park just brings it all together,” Walser said. “It’s the missing piece, for whatever reason, we’ve never had. We have great parks, just not a downtown park.”

“It’s just going to be a very loved park,” Walser said. 

 — Liz Moomey

Comments

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

BREAKING NEWS

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance

Education

North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development

Education

Knox student organizing event to get community cycling

Education

Decision on Essie Mae charter appeal expected Thursday

Nation/World

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

Nation/World

Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol

Nation/World

States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

News

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper receives COVID-19 vaccine

News

North Carolina health officials urge schools to reopen