Crews install trusses atop St. Luke’s Commons building. (photo by Samantha Hurst)
Crews install trusses atop St. Luke’s Commons building. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Archived Story

St. Luke’s Commons & Plaza: What’s in a name?

Published 5:56pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Project work moving along

A crew and a crane hoisted trusses atop the St. Luke’s Commons building under renovation in downtown Tryon last week and continue to make progress on the historic building’s facelift.

Tryon Economic Development Director Crys Armbrust said as construction moves along so does the town’s effort to secure grants for funding of the new plaza.

“It will certainly spur economic development and encourage increased activity in adjacent businesses. It increases opportunities for street festivals and music events. It too creates a convivial atmosphere for families and larger gatherings,” Armbrust said.

Armbrust said he submitted a grant proposal Friday, Feb. 4 to the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Main Street Solutions Fund (MSSF). Proposal specs requested $50,000; the maximum Tryon can receive under this grant cycle. Last year the town was awarded a $150,000 MSSF grant for the Depot plaza project. Armbrust said that work is tentatively scheduled to begin in April with hopes for it to be completed in tandem with the plaza work.

This new grant, if awarded, would fund new sidewalks, curb and gutter work, plaza paving materials and utility upgrades.

“We want some aesthetic continuity and some visual cluing that this is all tied together,” Armbrust said of the parallel projects. “These two efforts will also be tied together through the Rotary clock plaza.”

Armbrust said he and the town are appreciative of the cooperation from and contribution of Bob Lane. He said St. Luke’s Commons & Plaza would, “create a downtown gathering place for present and future generations of Tryonites.” 


    What I notice about this is the FIRE HAZARD OF WOOD CONSTRUCTION ON MAIN STREET. Long years ago the state of North Carolina determined wood construction on main street facing the street was a fire hazard in the business district. We all know the Town of Tryon is a corrupt government which does as it pleases and ignores many of the laws, rules, and tenants of society which other citizens of this state are governed by because it is a closed town monopoly of thought processes. In town the town rules and does as it pleases. The town of Tryon has cast aside the building codes which require only brick and masonry and relaxed the fire codes to allow all this wood to go into place in the business district on main street. This is shameful, well documented evidence of the rot of corruption in Tryon government. Documented in photos in the newspaper which the downtown development association supports fully and in fact sanctions as a fine idea. The great fire of Tryon will one day arrive and when it does this structure will be the kindling to ignite the rest of the town. By law, only fireproof construction is allowed in the business district on the street. Of course, we all know the light regard our town has for the law as documented by the building code.

    • fthillsart

      Although I agree with your comments regarding appropriate adherence to building codes, regulations, etc., the downtown development association (TDDA) is in no way a “regulatory board.” While we certainly encourage and support economic development in downtown Tryon, our organization is not involved with specific development, approval of building plans, or signage. The restoration of the old St Luke’s Thrift Shop building is a private venture. TDDA does not “sanction” anything.


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