Ground is broken on courthouse landscaping project

March 9, 2012


Ground was broken Thursday to launch the Garden Club of Virginia's landscape project at the former Henry County courthouse.

Officials with state and local garden clubs, the Martinsville Henry County Historical Society, Harvest Foundation and others used 12 golden shovels to break ground for the project that will transform the area in front of the historic building.

Work on the project will begin in a few weeks, and it is expected be completed in about four months, according to Deedy Bumgardner with Garden Club of Virginia.

Landscape architect Will Rieley created the design, and Frith Construction will handle the work.

The project includes restoring the cannons to metal bases; expanding the brick plaza in front of the courthouse; removing the front row of parking and putting a brick walkway in its place; replacing concrete ramps with broad steps that will be wrapped in stone walls; and flanking the plaza with plantings--Princeton elms, red bud trees, serviceberries and hypericum.

The work on the front parking area will be included in phase two of the project, which will be done at a later time, according to Debbie Hall, executive director of the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Museum, which is located in the former courthouse.

The museum and the Martinsville-Henry County Heritage Center there will remain open during the construction, Hall added.

The project is being funded with money raised during the Garden Club of Virginia's Historic Garden Week, which will be April 25 in Martinsville. Money raised during the statewide home and garden tours will pay for other garden renovations around the state as well.

The city owns the road and parking area in front of the courthouse. It will use funds from a Community Development Block Grant and the Harvest Foundation to do landscaping in that area in concert with the Garden Club of Virginia's plans for the courthouse property.


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