Monday, January 23, 2012

Grove Arcade, Asheville

The Grove Arcade encompasses a full city block.

One of my favorite places to visit in Asheville is the Grove Arcade.  Whenever we have company, I will take them on a tour of this beautiful and historic building.  A dream of Edwin Wiley Grove, the creator of the Grove Park Inn, the Neo-Gothic style Grove Arcade was finished in 1929, two years after its creator passed away.  At 269,000 square feet, the Arcade is the largest building in downtown Asheville and one of the last shopping arcades in the country.

Originally built to support a 14 story tower, only the base was competed. Upon opening, it contained a fine collection of shops and services including candy and cigar stores, a haberdashery, stenography office, fruit stands, millinery shops, beauty parlors, barbershops, a photography center, bookstalls and specialty groceries.  Offices filled the upper floors and for 13 years this building was the center of commercial life in Western North Carolina.

Upstairs offices and apartments embellished with medieval grotesques.

Peaked glass ceilings and wrought iron walkways and staircases add to the drama.

In 1942, the Federal Government took over the building, evicting all of the tenants to be replaced by offices to monitor and win World War II.  After the war ended, the Federal Government used the building to house the National Climatic Data Center.  For 50 years the Arcade was shuttered and windows bricked over.

Open air market

Al fresco dining

With the revival of downtown Asheville in the 1970's the public supported returning the Arcade to its former  glory and use.  Restored and opened to the public again in 2002, today it houses all of the same sort of shops it once did, with offices  and luxury apartments on the upper floors. Restaurants line the street side with outside patios while a open air market  adds charm in the warmer months.  Hope you enjoyed learning about this piece of our town's history.

The exterior is ivory hued terra cotta tiles.
Winged lions guard the north entrance.


Louvregirl said...

Thank you for these shots of Asheville in the winter. Love the details on the architecture, too. My husband had the opportunity to restore the colored tiles on the city building (the tall pink one...)
Love it there!

Old Kitty said...

What an amazing building!! So gothic-looking! Glad it's now open to all rather than boarded up! It's a treasure alright with an fab history too!! Thanks for the pics and the info!

Take care

Carver said...

That is a fun place to visit and I enjoyed your shots and write-up.

Gary said...

Great looking building!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sylvia K said...

Such an interesting post and terrific captures! Loved reading the history of the building and what a beautiful and amazing building it is! Great post and photos for the day! Hope you have a lovely week!


Lesley said...

It is hard to find arcades at this side of the Atlantic and this one looks a beauty. It is likely a good thing that it didn't include the 14 storey tower!

EG Wow said...

Great old building being lovingly maintained. This would be so nice to see if I ever visit Asheville!

NatureFootstep said...

interesting post about that fine building. :)

eileeninmd said...

Looks like a beautiful place to visit, it is great to see these places become revived. I'm sure it help the local economy. Thanks for sharing!

Carolinaman said...

This has always been one of my favorites in the Mountains. I especially love the bank of elevators that would have served the tower that was never built. The Old World "sound" inside the arcade is wonderful. Many echoes, and it's a great place to hum Gregorian Chants when no one is watching. Well done!

Carolinaman said...

If you like looking at photos and reading about the history of the North Carolina Mountains, you might like my new blog:

LadyFi said...

What an architectural beauty!

Teacup Moments said...

thought you might want to know that i linked up to this post in my latest blog entry. :)


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