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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ashville's Revival of Historic Architecture

Ashville, North Carolina may be best known for its surrounding mountains which make up some of the East's tallest and most majestic peaks, but this city has also some striking buildings that have art deco architecture in the downtown historic district besides Miami.
The most impressive and readily recognizable is the Grove Arcade, which occupies a full city block on Page Avenue. The arcade is designed by Edwin Wiley Grove in 1929 as a public market and thrived until World War II. It now houses an array of galleries which are locally owned, shops, restaurants and businesses.

Other Art Deco buildings are the Ashville's city hall and the First Baptist Church, both designed by Douglas Ellington who popularized the art deco style after studying in Paris.

Situated on the busy Pack Square is the center of Ashville's recent renewal called Pack Place. It houses the Ashville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, The Health Adventure Children's Museum and Diana Wortham Theatre, which gives visitors the chance to see 20th-21st century art, hands-on exploration witht he human body and mind, and can even enjoy performances by professional art groups.

You can explore the downtown district's architecture on the Ashville Urban Trail by visiting the Pack Place to get some maps, or you can drop by at Ashville Visitor Center or Ashville Art Council for a walking tour exploring 30 sculptures depicting the city's history.
Among tour highlights is the Thomas Wolfe Memorial on Market Street.

One block after the Broadway are antique galleries, bookstores and restaurants serving everything from sushi to pastries. There is also the Mast General Store where shoppers can splurge on barrel candy and shop for outdoor clothing in a 1940s general store setting.

TAGS: Ashville, North Carolina, USA

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