Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artis...

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway Open to Public

There are 157 comments on the Cybergrass story from Jun 20, 2011, titled Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway Open to Public. In it, Cybergrass reports that:

BMNN wrote: on Jun. 20, 2011: Abingdon, VA -- Heartwood, located in Abingdon, Va., serves as a tourism destination for travelers to explore the rich natural resources and cultural, musical and artisan heritage distinctive to the 19 county, four city Southwest Virginia region.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Cybergrass.

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Wondering

Bristol, VA

#1 Jun 21, 2011
How much does it cost to get in???
Big John

Brentwood, TN

#2 Jun 21, 2011
Free to get in. Eating the food there and so on will require money.
Newsman

Bristol, VA

#3 Jun 22, 2011
A big waste of tax money.

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#4 Jun 23, 2011
Newsman wrote:
A big waste of tax money.
Obviously you have no idea how much money is brought into a community through tourism. It's an industry just like any other.
Agree

Abingdon, VA

#5 Jun 23, 2011
I'm looking forward to checking it out, especially the restaurant.
Big John

Ashburn, VA

#6 Jun 24, 2011
Newsman wrote:
A big waste of tax money.
A great investment of our tax money. Go check it out, I am sure it will get a lot of visitors to our town.
regardless

Charlottesville, VA

#7 Jun 28, 2011
it sure is an ugly ass building
Info_Man

Richmond, VA

#8 Jun 29, 2011
So far it's off to a pretty abysmal start. If it keeps this up it'll take 100 years of tourism to break even on the huge waste of money that went into building it.
Ur Wrong

Ashburn, VA

#9 Jun 29, 2011
Info_Man wrote:
So far it's off to a pretty abysmal start. If it keeps this up it'll take 100 years of tourism to break even on the huge waste of money that went into building it.
Wrong on every count. Good crowds so far, from what I see and hear. Have you even been there?
Info_Man

Richmond, VA

#10 Jun 29, 2011
Yes I've been there. It's a very nice building, interesting displays and the little theatre is neat. The food is good and not ridiculous pricing, but it certaintly isn't going to compete with any business's in the area. There have been decent crowds, but nowhere near what they were hoping for/expecting in their opening week. I'm not being a downer on the place just for the sake of being negative. It is nice, but it was a waste of money and I am afraid will ultimately be a bust. Tourism money could have been spent better elsewhere.
Ur Wrong

Ashburn, VA

#11 Jun 29, 2011
Info_Man wrote:
Yes I've been there. It's a very nice building, interesting displays and the little theatre is neat. The food is good and not ridiculous pricing, but it certaintly isn't going to compete with any business's in the area. There have been decent crowds, but nowhere near what they were hoping for/expecting in their opening week. I'm not being a downer on the place just for the sake of being negative. It is nice, but it was a waste of money and I am afraid will ultimately be a bust. Tourism money could have been spent better elsewhere.
I disagree, but if you got better ideas on getting more tourist money in here, then I'll bite. What do you think would have been a better use of the money?

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#12 Jun 29, 2011
Info_Man wrote:
. Tourism money could have been spent better elsewhere.
I must ask the same question, how would you spend tourism dollars?
What do you think would draw people to Abingdon?
How would you get the folks passing through on Hwy 81 to stop?
JR Blevins

Johnson City, TN

#13 Jun 29, 2011
Well one thing is for sure, they will win at least one award for their building. That award should be for the ugliest most ill designed building from Roanoke to Knoxville. My God that thing is so stupid looking. There are so many intelligent people in Abingdon, how did this design ever get out of the laughing stages and into reality. So much potential gone to waste. More people will drive by laughing than will ever even think about going into Abingdon to see the insides. What a shame. Oh well maybe next time more government funds flow in it will be used more effectively. We can only set back now and see. Just look the other way when outsiders drive by and you see them laughing.

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#14 Jun 30, 2011
You know what, it is ugly!!! No correction, it is stupid looking, just like you said.

I can defend the arts, and the value to thecommunity, but it's hard to defend this atrosity.

Half a barn, half a building, come on.
Who in the world picked this design?
Jake in Abingdon

Murfreesboro, TN

#15 Jun 30, 2011
The only architecture some of you rubes can relate to is a pre-fab Butler building or a single-wide mobile home.
The whimsical design of the 'deconstructed barn' will win major awards and probably end up on the cover of Architectural Digest. It's a fabulous building!
Another point - Heartwood is not just for Abingdon. It is promoting arts and crafts throughout Southwest Virginia.
A Rose By Any Other Name

Ashburn, VA

#16 Jun 30, 2011
The architecture looks pretty good to me. Has an interesting look, modern, yet reflects elements of the area. And it gets attention from people driving by on 81.

I keep seeing all these folks on here saying it's a big waste of money, but I am not hearing what brilliant ideas they have for doing something better. I can see much bigger expenditures in the area on unsustainable boondoggles with far less local return.

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#17 Jun 30, 2011
Whimsical design my rear end. It's a piece of crap.It looks like half of a pre-fab barn setting on top of a brick building. It may be for the Arts and crafts for SW Virginia..... but it's in Abingdon and Abingdon didn't deserve this! If it is for the people; then why didn't the people get to choose from several designs, they're the ones that have to live with it. But no, we don't do that, we stick this atrocity on a hill side and call it architectural brilliance.
One thing I learned being involved in the arts, if the right person calls something "fabulous" there are many sheep who are afraid to call it like they see it.
It's like the "King who wore no clothes."
So Jake in Abingdon - enjoy your trailer park barn because that's what it looks like.
Eye of the Beholder

Ashburn, VA

#18 Jun 30, 2011
easyliving wrote:
Whimsical design my rear end. It's a piece of crap.It looks like half of a pre-fab barn setting on top of a brick building. It may be for the Arts and crafts for SW Virginia..... but it's in Abingdon and Abingdon didn't deserve this! If it is for the people; then why didn't the people get to choose from several designs, they're the ones that have to live with it. But no, we don't do that, we stick this atrocity on a hill side and call it architectural brilliance.
One thing I learned being involved in the arts, if the right person calls something "fabulous" there are many sheep who are afraid to call it like they see it.
It's like the "King who wore no clothes."
So Jake in Abingdon - enjoy your trailer park barn because that's what it looks like.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If thine eye offend thee, pluck that bad muthafucka right on out, so sayeth the Baby Jesus. Just sayin'.

Anyway, it ain't like anybody is holding a gun to your head to make you go or anything, it is a nice place to stop in and look at the art or grab a bite of lunch. Our community is better off with it than without it, I think, but only time will tell. It's only been open a month barely.
Info_Man

Richmond, VA

#19 Jun 30, 2011
In my opinion, and please don't take it as anything more than that, the money should have been spent putting something in southwest virginia worth coming too. Now I'm not dissing on the mountains. I love this area, moved away for 7 years and came back and I intend to spend the rest of my life here. But it's not a tourist spot. There is really nothing in southwest virginia that will attract a broad range of people to come and spend money. Visit for the appy trail and creeper trail and such? Perhaps. But they aren't going to spend much money. In order to attract tourism you need to have something that noone else has. There are mountains and arts/crafts all up and down the appalachian mountain range.

I also agree that the building is an eyesore. Highly visible from I-81? Yes. But "A Rose by any other Name" hit the nail on the head with "gets attention from people DRIVING BY on 81." Without any insignia or advertisement for what the building is, who's gonna stop and look at it? The average joe traveler will probably think it's another part of the community college.

While I am not a fan of art/crafts, I do respect the trade. But let's face it, it's a dying breed and not an efficient investment to attempt to bring in tourists and their money. If any proof is needed that the crafts are losing their grip on the region just look at the Highlands Festival. It gets smaller and smaller every year, fewer quality vendors and has even been moved to a back alley behind the hardware/etc. Or the William King Regional Art Center. What used to be a thriving museum and social center is now a dilapidated old building that relies on the county office buildings held within it to keep the doors open.
Ur Still Wrong

Ashburn, VA

#20 Jun 30, 2011
Info_Man wrote:
In my opinion, and please don't take it as anything more than that, the money should have been spent putting something in southwest virginia worth coming too. Now I'm not dissing on the mountains. I love this area, moved away for 7 years and came back and I intend to spend the rest of my life here. But it's not a tourist spot. There is really nothing in southwest virginia that will attract a broad range of people to come and spend money. Visit for the appy trail and creeper trail and such? Perhaps. But they aren't going to spend much money. In order to attract tourism you need to have something that noone else has. There are mountains and arts/crafts all up and down the appalachian mountain range.
I also agree that the building is an eyesore. Highly visible from I-81? Yes. But "A Rose by any other Name" hit the nail on the head with "gets attention from people DRIVING BY on 81." Without any insignia or advertisement for what the building is, who's gonna stop and look at it? The average joe traveler will probably think it's another part of the community college.
While I am not a fan of art/crafts, I do respect the trade. But let's face it, it's a dying breed and not an efficient investment to attempt to bring in tourists and their money. If any proof is needed that the crafts are losing their grip on the region just look at the Highlands Festival. It gets smaller and smaller every year, fewer quality vendors and has even been moved to a back alley behind the hardware/etc. Or the William King Regional Art Center. What used to be a thriving museum and social center is now a dilapidated old building that relies on the county office buildings held within it to keep the doors open.
You keep saying it is a bad idea, but I hear no ideas at all from you on what you think would have been better.

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