The Roanoke Beautification Foundation is asking for your help of donations to Reinvent the Zent.  Zent Commons is located in Roanoke, Indiana, at the northwest corner of First Street and Main Street, and is Roanoke's only historic downtown park. This property was generously donated to the Roanoke Beautification Foundation, by Pete & Alice Eshleman for its continued care and safekeeping for the community.

Zent Commons' last restorations took place 25 years ago. The use of this space by Roanoke's citizens and visitors as well as time and weather has distorted this space and is now in need of a complete revitalization. The foundation of bricks had been upheaved by tree roots, and trees and bushes have overgrown the main gathering areas leaving a lack of gathering and seating space for citizens and visitors.

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Many ask, "How did Zent Commons get its name?"...

The name was chosen to honor a resident, volunteer, and beloved friend of Roanoke. Pete and Alice Eshelman acquired and began making renovations to an empty lot in downtown Roanoke in the late 1990s. They transformed this lot into a beautiful park-like setting for the entire community to use and enjoy daily.

As the Eshelman's became involved in the Roanoke community they met Robert Zent. Robert was a very active member of the Roanoke community. As a lifelong citizen of Roanoke and a huge history buff, he was involved in many civic organizations and boards that served the community. Robert Zent was a business owner and played a huge role in the revitalization of Roanoke and the historic preservation of the community. He was a founder and board member of the Roanoke Heritage Center. In 1999, the Eshelman's completed renovations to the park and dedicated the area as Zent Commons in honor of Robert Zent.


The Roanoke Beautification Foundation selected Hall’s Lawn & Landscape to give Zent Commons a new life. The process of choosing the contractor for the job took much consideration and thought to ensure that the revamped space would still keep the charm of Roanoke at the core of the undertaking. 

The project will include the following:

  • New Pavers for a safe and flat foundation within the courtyard
  • Detailed open concept Covered Pavilion Area
  • Grand Fireplace within the Covered Pavilion
  • Fire Pit Gathering Space
  • 2 Basalt Water Features.
  • 5 New Landscaping Beds
  • Fenced Courtyard Perimeter with multiple entrances 
  • 3 Built-in Benches with Planters
  • Outdoor Patio Furniture
  • Strategic replacement of Children Statues and Zent Commons Plaque
  • Uncovering of Time Capsule


To complete this project, we need to raise $50,000. Please help us by donating - any donation, big or small helps us get one step closer to the funds we need to restore Roanoke's Historic downtown park.

IF we raise $50,000 on this platform, every dollar you donate will be matched by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) through the CreatINg Places grant program but only if we meet our goal! Please help us support this important property renovation in Roanoke, Indiana!​

If you would rather donate by check, make checks payable to Roanoke Beautification Committee and mail them to PO 388, Roanoke, IN 46783. 

We would also like to give special recognition for any donation over $1,000 by offering a name or business name on a donor wall. Structures and certain features in the courtyard are available to be sponsored. If you would like to receive more information on becoming a sponsor of Zent Commons Courtyard or have any other questions, please contact the Beautification Foundations President, Ruth Marsh, at

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