Early construction of the orginal Wilkes County Federal Building

Early construction of the orginal Wilkes County Federal Building

The Blue Ridge Artisan Center is housed in the Historic “1915” Federal Building located at 201 West Main Street, Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Designed by the Office of the Supervising Architect under James A. Wetmore and built in the Federal Revival style it reflects a strong Roman influence. Rich with classical details the exterior boasts; tall round-arched windows, slender classical pilasters, and rich detailing in the use of medallions, dentils and egg-and-dart molding that is repeated on the interior. The interior is just as impressive with marbled wainscot, pedimented doorways, and barrel-vaulted ceiling with an oculus marking each point at which cross vaults intersect the main vaulting. The central room, once a courtroom, is capped by a vaulted ceiling surrounded by small round windows that allow sunlight to illuminate the upper levels of the room.

The building served as the U.S. courthouse and post office for over half a century until the Johnson B, Hayes Federal Building was competed in 1969 and in 1982 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2017 Dale and Michelle Isom purchased the building with the goal of creating a regional community and event center, as well as a destination point for wedding, dances, anniversaries, concerts and more. In a continuing effort to preserve and encourage Appalachian heritage the Blue Ridge Artisan center offers a wide selection of original artwork, traditional crafts and music by artists of the Northwest North Carolina region. Artisans appear at demonstrations to meet and talk with visitors about their work. 'Round the Mountain publishes a series of Artisan Trails, enabling you to see artisans at work, visit craft venues, shop at galleries, take classes, and more. Visit us to learn about the artists and artisans of our region; their heritage and traditions, and where to go to experience them first hand.