The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

Susanna Pantas, Artist

Other Asheville Historic
Sites & Buildings

House Portraits by acclaimed NC Pen & Ink Artist Lee James Pantas

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Thomas Wolfe House, pen and ink drawing by Lee James Pantas
To purchase a print of this drawing by author/artist Lee Pantas, visit Cherry Orchard Studio

Historic Resources

Downtown Neighborhoods Historic Asheville Churches Historic Designations
Local History Resources Presenting Local History Urban Trail

Asheville's Other Historic Sites & Districts

Albemarle Inn Bed & Breakfast (NRHP, LHL) 86 Edgemont Rd.

Officially known as the Dr. Carl V. Reynolds House, this large frame Neo-Classical Greek Revival building is to-day the Albemarle Inn Bed & Breakfast. It is distinguished by a gable roof and a two-story portico with twin pairs of Corinthian columns and half-round pilasters. The interior features oak paneling and an exquisite carved oak stairway with a unique circular landing and balcony. Dr. Carl Reynolds built this house in 1909 and occupied it until 1920. Thereafter it was leased to the Grove Park School and then to the Plonk sisters, who operated an arts school there until it became the Albemarle Inn in 1941. Hungarian composer Bela Bartok stayed at the Inn during 1943 and while there completed his Third Piano Concerto, also known as the Asheville Concerto or Concerto of Birds.

Directions: From Pack Square, take College Street east to Charlotte Street. Turn left and go 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Edgemont Road.

Beaucatcher Tunnel (NRHP) College St.
This two-lane tunnel was originally built in 1930 to replace a winding road that went over Beaucatcher Mountain. The tunnel was blasted out of solid granite and has served Asheville for these many years. In 1997 it was refurbished and modernized and new granite stonework installed over the entrances.

Directions: From Pack Square take College Street east to the nearby tunnel entrance.

Biltmore House, Asheville NC, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasBiltmore Estate (NRHP, NHL)
This magnificent estate built by George Vanderbilt is a national treasure. Biltmore House, the largest privately owned house in America, is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
 

Directions: From downtown Asheville take Biltmore Avenue south to Biltmore Village. Entrance is on the right in Biltmore Village

Biltmore Forest
Biltmore Forest is an area of fine residential homes that adjoins part of Biltmore Estate. Driving through this lovely park like neighborhood you will see many architecturally interesting and historic buildings. Notice also the street lamps, antique ornamental fixtures still in use throughout that combine lighting and signage functions. The high quality copper and bronze swan-neck lamp posts are thought to have been manufactured in California and bought by a Judge Adams before 1928. Of special interest are the Biltmore Forest Municipal Buildings (circa 1927) at Vanderbilt Place, the Silver Shop Building (circa 1930) at 365 Vanderbilt Road and the Biltmore Forest Country Club (circa 1922) at Country Club Road. Although Biltmore Forest is not a Historic District, many of the buildings are individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Directions: Biltmore Forest can be entered at many places along Hendersonville Road going south from Biltmore Village. An easy-to-find entrance is Vanderbilt Road that enters the Forest just to the right of the Quality Inn Biltmore.

Cedar Crest (NRHP, LHL) 674 Biltmore Ave.
Officially known as the William E. Breese, Sr. House, this is one of the largest and most opulent residences surviving from Asheville’s 1890s boom period. A wonderful Queen Anne-style dwelling, it was constructed by contractor Charles B. Leonard in 1891. It features a prominent turret, expansive side and rear porches and interior woodwork of extraordinary beauty. It was opened as a tourist home with the present name “Cedar Crest” in the 1930s. Today, it is a Victorian bed & breakfast.

Directions:  From Pack Square take Biltmore Avenue south to 674.

Church of the Redeemer (NRHP) 1201 Riverside Dr.
This small, coursed-ashlar church was reportedly built in 1886 by a Dr. Willis, an immigrant from England. It features a cruciform plan, patterned slate roof and round arched windows with beautiful stained glass. An Episcopal Church, it still is in operation and visitors are welcome.

Directions: From Pack Square take Broadway north to Riverside Drive. Turn right onto Riverside Drive to 1201.

Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville NC, by Lee James PantasGrove Park Inn Resort & Spa (NRHP, NHL) 290 Macon St.
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is one of the largest resort and conference centers in the Carolinas. Built in 1913 by Edwin Wiley Grove of native granite boulders, the main block of the inn is four double bays wide and four stories deep with a deep hip roof pierced by two rows of eyelid dormers, thus making six floors in all. The granite for the inn was quarried locally from nearby Sunset Mountain.

A magnificent building, it has many noteworthy architectural features including more than 600 handmade solid copper lighting fixtures still in use, the main lobby with the huge fireplaces at each end and the striking red clay tile roof. Recently wings were added to each side of the hotel, thus providing over 500 rooms.

Directions: Take exit 5B onto Charlotte Street off I-240. Go one-half mile north on Charlotte Street to Macon Avenue. Turn right. The Inn is one-half mile up Macon Avenue.

Grove Park Inn Country Club (NRHP) Country Club Rd.
Formerly the Asheville Country Club, this rambling stucco-on-masonry structure was designed in a chateauesque style by English architect H.T. Linderberg in 1925. Distinctive features include a diminutive round tower with tall conical cap and weathervane adjacent to the archway drive and a grand Flemish bond chimney on the west side of the north-south section of the building. The Country Club building is owned today by the Grove Park Inn Resort and houses the Golf Pro Shop, swimming pool facilities and is also used to host meetings and weddings.

Directions: Take exit 5B onto Charlotte Street off I-240. Go one-half mile north on Charlotte Street to Macon Avenue. Turn right. Inn is one-half mile up Macon. Enter into main driveway and in front of the hotel bear right. Go down hill to stop sign and turn left and then left again at stop sign onto access road. Country Club building in on your left.

Longchamps Apartments (NRHP) 185 Macon Ave.
This imposing six-story structure was designed by Ronald Greene and built around 1925. Chateauesque and Tudor elements are combined in the unusual facade. The body of the building is a combination of half-timbers, rectilinear and half-round towers and brick and slate. A controversial building because of the unusual combination of elements, the building is nevertheless pleasing and has a majestic presence.

Directions: From I-240 take the Charlotte Street exit 5B. Take Charlotte Street north and turn right onto Macon Avenue.

The Old Reynolds Mansion (NRHP) 100 Reynolds Hghts.
Officially known as the Reynolds-Reynolds House, this two-story American bond brick structure is supposed to have been built around 1846. During the 1920s the house was completely remodeled at which time a third floor within a mansard roof with dormers as well as other rooms were added giving the house a Second-Empire look. Today the house is known as The Old Reynolds Mansion and is operated as a bed breakfast.

Directions: From Pack Square, take Broadway to the juncture of Merrimon Avenue. Follow Merrimon Avenue north past Beaver Lake and turn right just past next stop light onto Beaver Drive. Turn left up gravel lane.

Sherrill’s Inn (NRHP) Hwy. 74A, Fairview
This large weatherboarded house was operated as an inn that served travelers passing through Hickory Nut Gap during the 19th century. Bedford Sherrill began operating the inn in 1834. It is a two-story saddlebag-plan structure that probably dates back to around 1801. Also located on the property is a very old smokehouse and tradition maintains that this building served as a frontier “fort” in the 1790s. More than likely this small rectangular building is the area’s oldest structure. The inn, which is a private residence today, is visible on the right as you drive up the winding Hickory Nut Gap Road from Fairview going towards the Lake Lure area. As a note, if you happen to be in Asheville or Hendersonville in the fall during apple harvest the owners of the house sell excellent homemade cider and fresh apples grown in the property’s orchards.

Directions: From Asheville take I-240 east to exit 9 (Bat Cave, Lake Lure and Highway 74A east). Take Highway 74A east through Fairview to the very end of the valley. As you climb up the winding road to Hickory Nut Gap, look for the State Historic Sign and Sherrill’s Inn on your right up on a hill. This will trip will take you 20 minutes from downtown Asheville.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (NRHP) 219 Chunns Cove Rd.
St. Luke’s is a tiny historic country frame church located in the Chunns Cove section of Asheville. The building was consecrated on July 9th, 1898 and features triangular arched windows with simple geometric stained glass. The building is noteworthy for its simple, honest beauty.

Directions: From I-240 take Exit 6 Chunns Cove Road. Look for the church on your right.

St. Matthias Church, Asheville NC, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasSt. Matthias Church (NRHP) One Dundee St.
Saint Matthias began as Trinity Chapel in 1867 on land donated by Captain Thomas Patton. It has the distinction of being Asheville’s first black congregation. In addition, a strong Sunday School and Day School flourished on the site and offered the only formal education at that time for the children of the black community. However, they soon outgrew the smaller structure and the present building was begun in 1894. It was completed two years later under the supervision of James Vester Miller, whose crew then went to begin work on Biltmore House. At this time it was renamed Saint Matthias to honor the 13th apostle and the first missionary to Africa. A handsome Gothic-brick structure, the building features elaborate interior woodwork.

Directions: Located in downtown Asheville. Take exit 5B off I-240 onto Charlotte Street heading south. Take a left on Carver Street, then a quick right on Grail Street, and then turn right onto Dundee Street.

Smith-McDowell House in 1840, Asheville NC, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasSmith-McDowell House (NRHP, LHL) 283 Victoria Rd.
The Smith-McDowell House is one of Asheville’s major historic structures. Built around 1848, the house is an impressive two-story double-pile plan Flemish-bond brick house with a graceful two-tier porch. It is one of the oldest buildings surviving in Asheville and definitely the oldest brick structure in Buncombe County. The house was constructed for James M. Smith, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in antebellum Asheville. It is open today as a museum.

Directions: From Pack Square take Biltmore Avenue south. Just past St. Joseph Hospital and just before Memorial Mission Hospital turn right onto Victoria Road.

Thomas Wolfe House, Asheville NC, pen & ink drawing by Lee James PantasThomas Wolfe House (NHL, NRHP, LHL) 48 Spruce St.
This historic two-story Queen Anne style house was the childhood home of North Carolina’s most famous writer, Thomas Wolfe. The building was built around 1883 and features a decoratively-shingled slate roof, colored glass windows and bracketed cornice. In 1906 it was purchased by Wolfe’s mother, Julia, who operated it as a boarding house that she called Dixieland. Wolfe immortalized it in his novel Look Homeward Angel. Almost destroyed by fire in 1998, the house was authentically restored in 2004. It is operated today as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and is open to the public.

Directions: From Pack Square take Broadway north and turn right onto Woodfin Street. Take first right onto Market Street. Memorial parking lot is ahead on the left (Spruce Street, the official address for the house no longer exists as a operational city street.)

 

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