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Southern Homes

"Largest A&C Furniture Collection in America"

The Arts and Crafts style permeates the southern U.S., though few towns epitomize the architecture more than Asheville, North Carolina. Therefore, this section is devoted to the historic little town, which is full of charm, character, and some "noteworthy" turn-of-the-century buildings. That is certainly an understatement, for Asheville is home to both the largest private home in America (Vanderbilt's 250-room Biltmore Estate) and the breathtaking Grove Park Inn and resort, which houses the largest collection of original Arts and Crafts furniture in America.

I admit to having limited knowledge of the A&C movement in the Southern US, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect on my journey south. What a surprise! I knew the 1913 Grove Park Inn was renowned for its remarkable Craftsman architecture and 500+ piece collection of Roycroft and Stickley furnishings, but I didn't know that the town was full of lovely, well-maintained Craftsman homes.

I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Asheville, NC. It was much more than I expected. If you've ever wanted to immerse yourself in original A&C furniture, stay at the Grove Park Inn (make sure you ask for a room in the old wing). Even my little "value-priced" room had original Roycroft desk and chair, dresser, Morris chair and bed. Also a must-see is the Vanderbilt Estate, which offers a completely different lesson in architecture -- French chateau. The mansion was incredible, the Estate's winery was fine and its picturesque gardens (on 8,000 acres at the foot of the Smokey Mountains) were as perfect as could be.

For more information, check out these sites:
http://www.grovepark.com/pages/home.htm
http://www.biltmore.com/

Thumbnails for Asheville, N.C.

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Photo Guide:

  • Asheville01-09. This collection of homes are located on streets adjacent to the Grove Park Inn. I think of this area as the Southeast's version of Pasadena, CA.
  • Biltmore01. The Minnie Alexander Cottage (1890's), now houses a communications firm in downtown.
  • Biltmore02-05. These four photos are from Biltmore Village, a community located just outside the entrance to Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate. All of the homes are turn-of-the-century brick and stucco Craftsman styles. The area has been converted into a shopping district where about 40 of these homes have be turned into shops, restaurants and galleries.
  • Grovepark01. The lobby of The Grove Park Inn. This photo doesn't capture the cozy atmosphere (or the enormous fireplace!)
  • Grovepark02. The entrance to The Grove Park Inn.