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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 14:09

1026 green space opening coincides with Arts on the Avenue

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The opening of the green space at 1026 Roanoke Avenue will coincide with the Halifax County Arts Council’s Arts on the Avenue annual event in May.

Main Street Development Director Christina Caudle told city council Tuesday evening the arts council has put out a call to artists, photographers and performers interested in taking part in the event, which will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 900 and 1000 blocks of the avenue May 24.

(There is no fee for an artist, photographer or performer to take part in the event; nor is there any commission charged on artistic sales. To express interest in participating as an artist, photographer or performer send an email to the arts council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to the council at Halifax County Arts Council, PO Box 374, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870. Include your address and telephone number in all communications)

Preparations for the open space have been ongoing for the past year, Caudle said Monday and have included replacing the concrete pad and adding a sidewalk which extends outward toward the public parking space behind 1026.

A planter has been added which will also allow seating space and a seating wall has been constructed.

A water feature will be included, one which Caudle said will be “very industrious.”

The water feature is part of the overall theme of the open space, which will pay tribute to the city’s textile, rail and river history.

Lights will be strung and murals by artist Napoleon Hill, which have been funded by the arts council, will be hung and are in keeping with the overall theme of the open space.

Leading the preparation work for the space, which was once home to Roanoke Restaurant, has been the city’s public works department. “To date they’ve done the majority of the work,” Caudle said. “This project would not have been possible without their participation. They’ve been a tremendous asset.”

Public Works Director Larry Chalker told council Tuesday, “We now have the concrete pad from the avenue to back. Our goal is to get it functional as soon as we can. We’re really excited to be a part of this project.”

Also instrumental in bringing the green space to fruition has been the Main Street Roanoke Rapids design committee. “This committee identified this opportunity when the property was going to be demolished and has been committed to the project ever since,” Caudle said.

Following Arts on the Avenue, Main Street will start planning future events for the green space, including live music and seasonal events like an artisan fair. “We hope it will drive additional investment so investors can see buildings they would like to invest in. We hope it will be a catalyst for future investment. I think it will end up being a focal point.”

With the anticipation of the state Department of Transportation paving Roanoke Avenue within the next 12 to 14 months, a small committee has been formed to explore the next steps with the avenue streetscape plan, Caudle told council.

One of the top priorities will be the addition of a mid block pedestrian crosswalk between the green space and arts council building. That has been previously discussed in the city’s streetscape plan and is also based on a river theme. “We believe that public improvements such as the Roanoke Avenue streetscape project will enhance the beauty of Roanoke Avenue and serve as a catalyst for new private and public investment,” Caudle said.

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