New Hanover County, NC – After months of painstaking restoration, the historic Airlie Gardens Gate officially “opens” Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The gate, which dates back to the 1700s, was removed in October of 2013 in order to undergo restoration. The Airlie Gardens Foundation contracted with Intracoastal Iron blacksmith and artisan, Ben Kastner, to bring the gate back to its former glory and ensure that it will stand for another 300 years. Once down, Ben was able to fully assess the gate and found that many more pieces than originally thought were damaged and/or missing. Ben hand-crafted more than 300 pieces from salvaged wrought iron- the use of wrought iron was important for two reasons- to be historically accurate and for durability. More than a dozen templates were created to duplicate different flowers, scrolls, and accent pieces.
“We are so happy the Airlie Foundation Board committed to privately fund this important project that ensures the historical integrity of the gate for generations to come”, Tara Duckworth, Director of Parks and Gardens.
Airlie Gardens, located at 300 Airlie Road, is a 67-acre public garden owned and operated by New Hanover County. The mission of Airlie Gardens is to be an historic public garden with cultural and environmental education programs that serve the residents and visitors of New Hanover County. Additional information may be found at www.airliegardens.org or by calling 910-798-7700.