If you’re seeking some great historic sites to visit while in Asheville, check out some of the places on our list.
The Thomas Wolfe home, built in 1883, now serves as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. The rambling Victorian building he grew up in (his mother’s boarding house) was immortalized as “Dixieland” in his famous autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel. The novel has never gone out of print since its publication in 1929, keeping interest in Wolfe alive and attracting visitors to his historic home at 48 Spruce Street in Asheville.
Writer, poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg died on June 22, 1967. After which his wife Lilian donated his home to the state of North Carolina to become a National Park. The park’s vast historical and cultural resources include 264 acres of pastures, ponds, small mountains and hiking trails, as well as a total of fifty structures, including the Sandburg’s residence and goat barn. Books, personal belongings, awards and photographs highlight the 22 years of his life Sandburg spent residing at Connemara in Flat Rock.
St. Mary’s was constructed in 1914 in a cruciform plan in an English Gothic Revival style, incorporating the “correct” ecclesiastical style of Edwardian Anglo-Catholicism. Prominent local architect Richard Sharp Smith designed the building and much of the interior furnishings. St. Mary’s is the only Anglo-Catholic church in North Carolina.
4. Riverside Cemetery
The Riverside Cemetery dates back to 1885 and encompasses 87 acres of rolling hills and flower gardens overlooking the French Broad River. Riverside is the burial place of many of Asheville’s most notorious citizens including Thomas Wolfe, William Sidney Porter (better known as O. Henry), Zebulon B. Vance, Thomas Patton and confederate generals James Martin, Robert B. Vance and Thomas Clingman.
5. Grove Arcade
Dr. Edwin Wiley Grove, a wealthy patent medicine manufacturer and real estate developer had the Grove Arcade built between 1926 and 1929, as a massive commercial mall with covered pedestrian thoroughfares and rooftop terraces. It was the most ambitious project conceived by Grove. During WWII the Arcade Building was occupied and modified by the Federal government and eventually housed the National Climatic Data Center until the 1990s. Today the Arcade’s Tudor Gothic Revival style is one of Asheville’s landmark architectural showplaces.
The Church of St. Lawrence was designed and built by Rafael Guastavino, an architect and builder who came to Asheville to work on the Biltmore House in the mid-1890s. After completing his work at Biltmore, he sought an alliance with friend and architect Richard Sharp Smith to design the Spanish Renaissance Revival Church of St. Lawrence in the early 1900’s. Construction was completed in 1909. The entire Church is built of tile or other masonry materials. The center dome is reputed to be the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. The churches basilica interior features Spanish woodcarvings dating back to the mid-17th century.
Our Pinecrest Inn has its own historical roots dating back to Asheville’s boom in the early 1900’s. The 1905 English Tudor style B&B, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. In 1913 Richard Sharp Smith, the lead architect for the Biltmore Estate was commissioned to design an addition to the house, making it even more significant. The name ‘Pinecrest’ was officially deeded to the house in 1928. Today the elegant home operates as an Asheville Bed & Breakfast located in the historic Montford district. For reservations or information visit www.pincrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.