|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.|