Rebuilt Cabarrus Co. park to feature familiar touches, new amenities

Vandals set fire that destroyed iconic barn at Frank Liske Park three years ago
The iconic silo at Frank Liske Park is expected to be rebuilt by this summer.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 3:18 PM EDT
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Just under three years ago someone started a fire that destroyed a venue that had hosted thousands of birthday parties, weddings, and other celebrations for almost 40 years.

The barn at Frank Liske Park in Cabarrus County was destroyed by that fire, but now it’s coming back. Crews have been rebuilding the barn and its iconic silo.

The structure was originally a dairy barn used by Stonewall Jackson Training School. When Cabarrus County opened Frank Liske Park on June 4, 1982, the barn was used as a gathering place.

It only took a few hours on March 26, 2020, for a landmark in Cabarrus County to be reduced to ashes and rubble.

“When I got here the whole middle collapsed,” said Joshua Coffman, Active Living and Parks (ALP) senior parks program manager. “I think the ends were still sticking up…it was a total loss.”

Longtime residents like Gordon Monroe were saddened.

“I used to go in there when the old one was up and get food and bring my granddaughter up here to play, then all of a sudden I come up here one day and it’s collapsed,” Monroe said.

The barn had to be torn down. County leaders spoke to residents about what to do on the spot.

They overwhelmingly wanted the barn and silo built back and gave input on what else they would like to see. They realized they had an opportunity not just to replace what was here, but to make it bigger and better.

“We’re going to be able to offer the upper and lower handicap accessibility, which we could do before,” Coffman said. “This will also have surround sound upstairs, upper level and lower level there will be TV’s, people want to come in and have pictures for family reunions…they’ll be able to a lot better now with more up to date technology.”

The two-story 12,700-square-foot building is planned for a summer 2023 opening. It will feature kitchens on both floors, air conditioning, large rental spaces, elevator access, private bathrooms and public exterior bathrooms.

Gordon Monroe has been checking on the progress along the way.

“I’ve been watching it for quite a while,” Monroe said. “It’s a great looking building.”

Crews still have work to do, but Coffman says if things stay on schedule, it won’t be long before this barn is once again hosting celebrations.

“We’re just telling people to stay with us because it’s coming back,” Coffman added. “It’s going to be a long time waiting right now, we say to lose the barn was a misfortune and it was sad, but from the ashes we rise and like we’re going to have something better and bigger than last time that the people are going to be able to enjoy.”

The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office continues to seek leads on the fire. Anyone with information on the crime can anonymously call or text Cabarrus Area Crime Stoppers at 704-932-7463 or visit Rewards are possible.