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Can the Center City Garden house be saved?

ASHEBORO – A report regarding the proposed Center City Garden in Downtown Asheboro recommends the removal and replacement of a house at the site.


The report was from Summey Engineering Associates of Asheboro, which performed an “as-is” non-invasive visual inspection of an existing house at 205 S. Cox St., which has been suggested for use with the David and Pauline Jarrell Center City Garden. The two-story house could serve as a visitors center of sorts, providing information on the historic garden for visitors, store archaeological relics and provide restrooms.


However, after inspection of the house — including brick veneer, roof, moisture damage, windows, additions to the original structure and other factors — Summey concluded the following: 


“The existing incompatible floor plan layout combined with the cost of repair and upgrading to current building and ADA (American Disability Act) code compliance, would be cost prohibitive. Therefore, it is our professional opinion that the more cost effective option would be to remove the existing structure and construct a new building, designed to meet the specific needs of the Center City Garden project.”


Despite the Summey report, members of the Downtown Redevelopment Commission would like to see the house saved, according to Trevor Nuttall, Community Development director for the city. 


Council members also said they would like to preserve the house, including Mayor Pro Tem Walker Moffitt, who said he always likes to see historic buildings saved.


The board took no action on the item but will return to it at the June 8 meeting.


Related to the topic, former mayor David Jarrell took the podium during the public comment period to thank the city for the groundbreaking and dedication ceremony on Saturday, April 29. Jarrell and his wife Pauline donated the three acres to the city with the stipulation that it be used as a garden for the public to enjoy.


“It was a first-class event,” Jarrell said, thanking the city staff for their efforts.


Mayor David Smith replied, “No one is as grateful for the garden as we are.”


Work on the Center City Garden is expected to begin later this year.