Removal of Vance Monument base to begin May 14

top of Asheville City Hall building

The process to remove the remaining Vance Monument structure at Pack Square Plaza will begin on Tuesday and last approximately two months. The contractor will begin the staging process on Monday, May 13.

What to expect during the removal:

  • North Pack Square will be closed to vehicular traffic throughout the removal process to allow for demolition to take place.
  • South Pack Square will remain fully open, including parking and loading spaces (except when closed due to special events).

The below image illustrates the construction impact. The areas shown in yellow and green will be closed during the Vance Monument removal.

map of construction

The contractor expects removal work to be completed by mid-July. Soon after, a local minority-owned landscaper will install plantings in the former monument area, which was previously determined as a short-term treatment for the site. An updated landscaping contract is currently being finalized, and that work will begin as soon as possible following the completion of the removal. Once completed, the site will be maintained by Asheville Parks & Recreation along with other areas of the park.

What’s next for Pack Square Plaza 

A future vision for Pack Square Plaza was defined by the community in 2023 and will inform the long-term design for the wider plaza area, including the former monument site.  The City received a $3 million grant from the Mellon Foundation in June 2023 which includes funding for design and engineering for a new, more accessible and inclusive Pack Square Plaza inspired by the Vision Plan. That project will kick-off this summer with a design firm on board this fall. Funding for construction has not yet been identified.

Find more information about the Pack Square Plaza Visioning project here.  

Background of Vance Monument removal & the decision to move forward

The Vance Monument Task Force recommended removal of the Vance Monument, and Asheville City Council solidified the recommendation at their regularly scheduled meeting on March 23, 2021. In 2021 a lawsuit was filed to stop the removal of the monument, but was dismissed by the Buncombe County Superior Court. In March the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld this dismissal. A second lawsuit has since been filed.  City attorney Brad Branham addressed the decision to proceed with removal: 

“The City maintains its position that the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the City’s right to remove the monument by way of its March 22, 2024 unanimous decision rejecting the plaintiff’s appeal. That decision cleared a path for the City and community to move forward with a new vision for Pack Square. Our intention is to continue the process to implement that vision until or unless another court ruling dictates otherwise.”