A convergence of the new Thermal Belt Rail Trail with a revitalizing Main Street, promises to remake Spindale, NC’s, historic downtown.
On November 19th, leaders from across Rutherford County and the State of North Carolina gathered for a socially-distanced celebration of phase one of a new streetscape redevelopment project for downtown Spindale.
As part of this project, Downtown Spindale, which is positioned immediately opposite the popular Thermal Belt Rail Trail, will receive several new features such as widened sidewalks, street trees and lighting, and new crosswalks linking Main Street to the Rail Trail. The improved streetscape will offer trail users and downtown visitors unparalleled access to the idyllic small-town experience of strolling, shopping, and dining in a historic downtown.
Government, business, and community leaders, along with project planners, are commemorating the beginning of this streetscape master plan that will help preserve the historic integrity and legacy of Spindale while strengthening its economic future.
The project in many ways represents an ideal prototype for revitalizing rural Main Streets by increasing walkability, enhancing connectivity of green spaces to historic districts, and incorporating industrial-era assets into public spaces for commerce and recreation.
The forward-thinking design for spaces in the center of town will link both east and west sections of downtown and will include repurposing the historic Spindale depot building, across from the main street, into a brewery or retail space.
Downtown Spindale and the vicinity around the historic Spindale House was once known as the gathering place for all of Rutherford County. The town of Spindale was established around the local textile industry, but since the town’s last mill closure in 1999 the beloved downtown has faced the ongoing challenge of re-establishing itself. Through this innovative approach to rural economic development, the Town hopes to once again reclaim its place as a main street destination in Rutherford County and a center of recreation and commerce for the community.
The Phase 1 Streetscape project, which extends from Nebraska Street to Revely Street, is under construction and will be complete by the first quarter of 2021. This area represents approximately 15 percent of the total streetscape project.
Multiple phases will be required to complete the entire streetscape master plan, and fundraising and grantmaking efforts continue as the town and community stakeholders work to further realize downtown revitalization efforts.