The City of Morganton Main Street Department seeks a qualified firm or team to design a multi-purpose space in the heart of downtown and to prepare documents, for bid and construction of the design, for that space. Documents necessary will be those customarily provided to implement final accepted design recommendations and include but not be limited to bid and contract documents as well as cost estimations and a projected construction schedule. This space will be connected to the most iconic building and green space in the County, the Historic Burke County Courthouse and Square. A design that incorporates flexibility of the space, historic character of the existing square and art in the space are paramount to the project.

An overview and tour of the site will be available for all interested respondents on Friday, February 1, 11:00 a.m.-1:00p.m. Interested respondents will meet in the Morganton City Hall Council Chambers at 305 E. Union St. A100, Morganton, NC, 28655. The tour will leave from City Hall and walk to the site one block away.

Firms/teams interested in providing the described services must submit their qualifications by February 14, 2019, at 5 p.m. to:

Sharon Jablonski, Main Street Director
112 B. W. Union Street, Morganton NC 28655
PO Box 3448, Morganton NC 28680
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 828/438-5252 Fax: 828/432-2518

Please direct all questions to Sharon Jablonski.


Addendum #1

Thank you to everyone who attended the tour of the project site on February 1, 2019. We look forward to hearing back from all of you on the project. Below, you will find the PowerPoint from the tour and a list of those in attendance. The aerial that was shown during the tour was from Google Earth, and the other pictures were from the City of Morganton website & Flickr page.

Addendum #2


After several conversations about the 8 month turnaround for all documents, we now realize it is an unrealistic expectation.  Originally we had hoped to be under construction in February of 2020, but with the need to involve citizens and the various governments we feel we need to expand that timeline.  Therefore we will change that to a 10  to 12 month window of time for design, construction drawings, and cost estimates.  Going out to bid would not be a part of that timeline.

Addendum #3

February 7, 2019

The courthouse square and Old Courthouse building are on the National Register of Historic Places as well as having Local Historic Landmark status. Any work proposed for these areas will require approval, Certificate of Appropriateness, from the Morganton Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC). This project is expected to have State funding through the NC Arts Council so may trigger a SHPO review; however no Federal funding nor any changes to the building are expected.  Depending on the design, consultation may be sought from SHPO by the MHPC.

There are historic photos, postcards and etcetera of the Old Courthouse and Jail as well as the square and monuments.  Sanborn maps of the square may also be obtained.    These items can be found by searching on line, through the Morganton Burke County Library – North Carolina Room – Picture Burke program, as well as some that the City may have on file.

We have an older survey that can be updated by our City surveyor and/or provide you with that information.  Surveying should be listed as a separate line item when quoting prices as it may be possible for the City to provide that service in the design phase.  Construction phase would also have this as a separate line item.

Location of utilities should be possible through NC811/ULOCO and mapped on the survey.  There is and irrigation system present which has no mapping or locate wire.  It may need to be abandoned and a new system installed.  There also may be a steam tunnel from the Jail to the Old Courthouse which is unknown.

Regarding the County owned/Designated portions of the square; Items such as grading, walkway changes, stone walls, trees, monuments and the like will all need to be coordinated through informal public meetings and through City and County Staff, with formal approvals needed by the Morganton Historic Preservation Commission, City Council, and County Commissioners.  Most all of these items have some flexibility in their treatment, but again, that will have to be determined by those reviewing the design.

The County owned building is home to the Historic Burke Foundation.  The City has a long term lease through 2032, which can be extended through 2047, on the building and square and maintains both.

Large maintenance requires approval from the County and/or others mentioned previously and funding for such items is usually shared.   Funding for this project will primarily be by the City.

Any remaining questions about this project must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday February 8, 2019.  Staff will answer by 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 11, 2019, to allow everyone sufficient time to finalize their submittals by the deadline of Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Please download a copy of the full addendum below:

City Contact


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Staff Directory

305 E. Union St. Ste A100
Morganton, NC 28655 i Google Maps 16x16

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