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Asheville's Vance Monument Will Soon Be Hidden From Sight


Scaffolding is going up around the Vance Monument as the city prepares to shroud the 75-foot obelisk in Pack Square in downtown Asheville.   

A statement from the city says a contractor has been hired to oversee the project, which is expected to be completed by Friday.

The shroud will be made of a grey opaque material, also used as a windscreen.  The lower 8 feet of the monument will be enclosed with plywood.                                                                              

Credit BPR
Workers begin putting scaffolding around the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville

The shroud was called for in a joint resolution signed last month by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners calling for the Vance monument to be covered until a decision is reached on whether it should be repurposed or replaced.  The monument honors Buncombe County native Zebulon Vance, who served as governor during the Civil War and on the U.S. Senate.  Vance was a slave owner and opposed rights for Black Americans.

The joint resolution also calls for the removal of the marker for Confederate General Robert E. Lee in front of the Vance Monument, and the memorial for Confederate soldiers outside of the Buncombe County courthouse.  Both were erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the city and county will give the group 90 days to remove the monuments.

The public is invited to apply for a spot on the  Vance Monument Task Force.   The deadline to apply  is Friday, July 10. Six members will be appointed by the City and six by Buncombe County. City Council is expected to vote to appoint its task force members at the July 28 meeting.

Find more information at this link, including on how to apply to be on the task force.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.
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