Park District: Central
Census Tract: 1
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Montford, and Five Points
Following a year of discussions and planning, $200,000 in repairs and enhancements are coming to Asheville Skatepark. Starting with replacement of stairs and sections of damaged fencing along Cherry Street, improvements to the upper plaza and existing features will allow the skatepark to function as it’s always intended: a valuable community space for veteran skateboarders, skaters, and bikers, as well as those who are just getting started in these sports.
In addition to changing the concrete landscape, the much-loved space will also receive new art to bring it to life. Through a partnership with the nonprofit Asheville Skate Foundation, wall murals by artists collaborating with the skate community will add stylistic distinction and reflect local skate culture.
While skateboarding started in empty swimming pools and drainage beds, local skateboarders have a fierce sense of ownership of this park and want quality art and installations that reflect them. The collective skateboarding, roller skating, and BMX biking community is like a big family with advanced users often mentoring newbies by giving them tips to help develop their talents.
North Carolina’s first concrete skatepark opened near Asheville’s city center more than 20 years ago fueled by grassroots efforts and a growing sense that safe, low-cost places to have fun shouldn’t be limited to playgrounds, community centers, ball fields, and tennis courts. Before this unique course was constructed, community members and Asheville Parks & Recreation actually installed temporary ramps and tracks on the top floor of the Civic Center parking deck – eight stories above the ground!
Opened in 2000, the facility featured a beginner bowl, intermediate street course, and advanced vertical drop, as well as a staffed admission area and concessions. Following damages in 2014, the building was no longer staffed and was ultimately demolished to create more skateable space in 2020. As with many public projects, that change sparked a larger conversation within the community about the future of Asheville Skatepark (which had not seen significant upgrades since it was built).
In March 2021, Asheville Parks & Recreation staff began meeting with skateboarders, roller skaters, bikers, skate shop owners, and the nonprofit Asheville Skate Foundation to discuss a reimagining of the space and the possibility of new rideable art sculptures and ramps in the open plaza where the previous building was located. The ultimate goal is a safer, enhanced Asheville Skatepark welcoming to families, new skaters and bikers, veteran users, and community members who want to watch homegrown talent.
- March: Initial meetings with skaters and community members to shape the vision of project
- April-June: Feedback collected at in-person meetings at skatepark and through email and handwritten notes collected at skate shops
- June: Skate Jam held at Asheville Skatepark
- Summer-Fall: Feedback collected by email, Instagram, and comment boards at skate shops
- October: Meeting at skatepark with Asheville Skate Foundation
- November: Initial concept design shared on Instagram and through partners
- January: Final concept design modified on feedback from the skate community
- March-May: Skatepark closed for repairs and construction
Christine Elyseev, Parks & Recreation, 828-251-4080