Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Large Crowd Helps Dedicate "Horne Square"

Several dozen residents crowded into the center of downtown Tuesday for the official dedication of the new "Horne Square."

Mayor Jody McLeod, who teamed with Town Manager Steve Biggs to lead a years-long effort to turn the vacant lot at the corner of Main and Lombard Streets into a downtown "centerpiece," said the new downtown plaza "is a dream come true after such a long time."

"I know people wondered if this would ever be anything but an old, dusty parking lot," the Mayor said. "I'm thrilled to be here today with all of you at the official dedication of this wonderful new downtown square where that dusty parking lot once stood. It's a great day in Clayton."

The tree-covered sanctuary with beautiful sidewalks, benches, greenery and design, has earned the praise of residents all over town, including downtown business owners. Town officials recently settled on the name ”Horne Square” in memory of the old Ashley Horne mansion, which once stood on the site. Granite from the old home was used in construction of the new Square, which is expected to become a popular meeting place, as well as a home for downtown activities. The town already offers free wireless internet service there.

The Mayor joined with Ashley Grady of G2 Design, who helped design the new Square, to unveil a temporary placque proclaiming the site "Horne Square," while town officials and the crowd looked on.

Biggs said the new Square should be a huge boost to efforts to revitalize downtown.

The enthusiasm and size of the crowd that assembled for the dedication is indicative of the community spirit here, he said.

"It's one of the things I like most about Clayton, that the people here care, that they come out in the middle of the day to share in an event like this," he said.

The new Horne Square includes 30 premium parking spaces. The $300,000 project is being funded through a $310,000 easement fee for a communications tower at the Operations Center property.

For a look a photos from the dedication ceremony, please visit the town's Facebook site at Town of Clayton, NC

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