Monday, March 17th, 2014
To create a development plan for a section of the Cultural District across from the Cherokee Fairgrounds and complete construction.
In 2004, The Cherokee Preservation Foundation conducted several meetings with the greater Cherokee community referred to as Vision Qualla. There were several outcomes to this process, one of which was the façade project at the Horseshoe Area downtown. In 2005, the Heart of Cherokee Final Report stressed the benefits of enhancing the visibility of the Qualla Boundary’s cultural attractions, which would appeal to “heritage tourists.” The EBCI Office of Planning and Development (OPD) partnered with Cherokee Community Clubs, the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, EBCI Tribal Planning Board, Tribal Council, Marketing and Promotion, Duke Energy, Verizon Wireless, Cherokee Cable Vision, and Cultural Resources to make improvements to the Cherokee Streetscape in both the Horseshoe Area and Cultural District.
This collaborative developed a set of designs to move forward that included culturally themed streetlights, moving the utility wires underground, installing new & wider sidewalks, culturally stamped crosswalks, improved landscaping, bike racks, benches, and improvement of signage and utilities.
With the consensus of this project being a success and the Tribe’s drive towards completing more upgrades and aesthetic improvements to the Cultural District with the Streetscape project, the EBCI now has an overall Master Plan from which to draw community support and input as to what to do with the space.
The EBCI Economic & Community Development Office (EBCI ECDO) is conducting several meetings for the community to offer input and feedback on how best to develop the space. With community input, and a plan to move forward, further resources will be released to begin implementation of the community strategy for rebuilding of the stores in the Cultural District.
The selected design firm, Site Design, met on site with representatives from the Cherokee Historical Association, Travel and Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, Public Relations, Planning, Tribal Historic and Preservation Office, Tribal Operations, and the resident business owners. The current status of the area was discussed as well as possible improvements and enhancements. Site Design will now take that information and come up with some possible options that would make the site a more user friendly, walkable and useable space.