In early 2006, the AIA Asheville section applied for an American Institute of Architects “Blueprint for America – AIA 150” project grant. In June 2006, we were awarded $15,000 from AIA for our “Bridging the French Broad: Creating Connected Livable Communities” project. The goal of this project was to engage the community in discussions as to how the Blueprint’s “Ten Principles for Livable Communities” and the community’s design goals could be implemented in the design of the I-26 connector through Asheville.
We secured a storefront in downtown Asheville to house meeting, work, and exhibit space. ADC’s grand opening took place on September 29, 2006, with ribbon-cutting by Asheville’s Mayor Terry Bellamy.
We have been studying the four NCDoT proposed alternative designs since they were made available in October 2006. We have reached reached consensus on a modification to one of these alternatives.
At the same time, this could create exciting opportunities for sustainable growth and increased “livability” along the riverfront and neighborhoods near downtown Asheville; it also creates the possibility for a new signature bridge over the French Broad River.
Since ADC was created with the I-26 project and AIA funding, we have been incorporated as an independent 501c3 non-profit organization and have pursued a variety of new projects with the support of a variety of community sources. As ADC grows, we continue to provide design expertise and a venue where people can come together to promote livable communities in Asheville and throughout WNC.