The Körner’s Folly Foundation is excited to announce that Michael West, of West & Stem Architects (Winston-Salem, NC) has signed on as the principal architect for the Foundation’s new Visitors Center at Körner’s Folly. Hiring an architect represents a critical step in the Foundation’s Capital Campaign, which has just reached a new milestone of 85% of funds raised towards the total campaign goal.
Thanks to the generous support of private donors, grant foundations, and corporate organizations, the Foundation hopes to be able to break ground on the Visitor Center in the fall of 2021. Prior to groundbreaking, the important work of designing the building must begin soon. This work, headed by Michael West and the firm’s civil engineer, begins with a survey of the site’s boundary, topographic features, and utility access. Next, West will create detailed floor plans based on the structural layout and mechanical systems. The site of the future Visitors Center, which lies along Main Street to the north-east of Körner’s Folly, will be under construction for approximately eight months, and is scheduled to open to the public in fall of 2022.
West & Stem Architects was chosen for this project because of their incredible portfolio as well as their responsive design approach. With a blend of historic preservation work (such as restoration of WinMock at Kinderton and Bethania Mill), civic space designs (including the Kernersville branch of the Forsyth County Public Library, Parkland High School, Wiley Middle School, and the Winston-Salem Police Department’s 1st and 3rd Districts), and homes for nonprofit organizations (Samaritan Ministries, Forsyth Humane Society, Center Grove Baptist Church), the Körner’s Folly Foundation Board of Directors believe that West & Stem will be able to deliver a design for the Visitors Center that is visionary and flexible, suited for a variety of gatherings and programs, and echoes the unique architecture of Jule Körner’s whimsical, Victorian-era structure.
The design for the Visitors Center will incorporate several much-needed upgrades for Körner’s Folly, which has seen record-breaking attendance for several years. The plan will include a critical expansion of parking and restroom facilities, flexible community space, a media room, conference room, exhibition space for fragile objects from the organization’s collection, and a research library. Handicap access will be an integral part of the design, allowing the Körner’s Folly Foundation to increase access to the historic house, which was constructed in 1880.
In addition, the Visitors Center at Körner’s Folly will serve as a gateway to historic downtown Kernersville, providing a wide variety of information for tourists to discover options for dining, shopping, lodging, and enjoying all the cultural amenities the town has to offer.
“We are thrilled to be able to move forward with this step of hiring the right architect for this project,” said Dale Pennington, Executive Director of the Körner’s Folly Foundation. “We look forward to working with West & Stem to create a design that addresses the needs of our organization and community, and creates a beautiful new cornerstone for the town of Kernersville.”
The funds raised through the Capital Campaign for Körner’s Folly will be used to complete construction of the new Visitors Center, as well as to finish critical restoration of the remaining rooms of the historic house, and to establish a sustainability fund to cover long-term costs of building maintenance and educational programs.
“Special recognition goes to the Board of Aldermen of the Town of Kernersville for helping to make this project a reality,” says Executive Director Dale Pennington. “With the commitment of $750,000 from the Town, we have been able to get major donors on board and excited about this opportunity to build for a greater Kernersville. We believe that the new Visitor Center’s impact will be extremely positive, both economically as well as culturally.”
For more information about the Capital Campaign for Körner’s Folly or the Visitors Center at Körner’s Folly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (336) 996-7922.