Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Quick hits: New fountain for Pack Square, homecoming for Portsmouth

Pack Square fountain gets modern touch with new design
"The Pack Square Conservancy has unveiled the design for a new fountain to be installed as part of the park’s reconstruction.

"Consisting of a massive bronze ring encircling huge boulders, the design was conceived and will be executed by Asheville metal artist Hoss Haley," according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

"Haley will begin work on the fountain soon and should be finished late this year, the conservancy said.

"Renovations to the square are to be completed by the end of this year, and the entire Pack Square Park project should be finished by summer of 2009, said Donna Clark, spokeswoman for the conservancy.

"The fountain, about 4 feet tall and 20 feet across, will cost $188,980 and will be paid for through a combination of foundation money, private donations and public funds, conservancy Executive Director Marilyn Geiselman said.

"The new artwork will be the latest in a series of fountains that have graced the square since the 1800s. ..."

Outer Banks village homecoming set

"No one has lived year-round in the island village of Portsmouth for decades, but Outer Banks history buffs don't consider it a ghost town," says the News & Observer.

" 'That upsets a lot of people,' said Ed Burgess, head of The Friends of Portsmouth Island. 'It's not a ghost village. It has been restored.'

"The village that once clung to a remote island in Carteret County will be bustling again during a homecoming April 19. As many as 400 people, some of them descendants of former residents, are expected to trek to the island for a day of singing and storytelling, and a re-enactment of a life-saving drill at the village's historic life-saving station.

"The homecoming, sponsored by the Cape Lookout National Seashore and the friends support group, will provide a glimpse of bygone life in the village across Ocracoke Inlet from Ocracoke.

"Before the Civil War, Portsmouth was a thriving port with more than 500 residents and 109 dwellings. But the population dropped to about 14 by the 1950s and to three by the 1970s. Three women who were the last full-time residents reluctantly moved off the island in the early 1970s after a male caretaker died.

"Since 1976, the island has been part of the National Seashore, a 55-mile string of barrier islands. About two dozen buildings are intact. ..."

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