Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Small Town Main Street
Wilkesboro , NC
In 2017 Dale and Michelle Isom purchased the 1915 historic Federal Building in downtown Wilkesboro, with the goal of creating a regional community and event center. The project evolved into an effort to preserve Appalachian heritage through the development of an artisan center, a farm-to-table café, and an event venue. The Blue Ridge Artisan Center opened in the summer of 2018 and features a wide selection of Northwest North Carolina’s finest artists and craftspeople and over 3,000 square feet of retail space.
Through the years, the Federal Revival building housed the US federal courthouse and post office, the Wilkes County school system offices, and a real estate office. The $500,000 renovation designed by architect Robert Ham, with the Isom Ham Design Group included conversions of the courtroom into a central gallery, concert hall, and event space, and the jury room into retail and exhibit space. The former post office was renovated to serve as the Artisan Café.
The mission of the Blue Ridge Artisan Center is to create opportunities for meaningful experiences in the visual and performing arts of the northwest region. The Center serves as a hub for growing the creative economy by attracting new visitors and related businesses, and the Center itself created 10 new full-time and part-time jobs..