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Fall Travel: Checking Out Asheville's Architecture

October 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM | by | ()

Western North Carolina perks up in the fall: The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler and downtown Asheville is the place to be--especially for those interested in unique architecture. A big city it isn't, but it certainly delivers some thrills.

Downtown is the Grove Arcade, completed in 1929. It was renovated and reopened in 2002 as an indoor-outdoor retail center.

Unlike at a typical shopping mall, there are no chain stores in sight. Local vendors have setup shop inside the arcade, including the Big Cheese, just in case you have a hankering for more than 80 different cheeses while filling the shopping bags. Gothic statues wait to greet you each time you walk into the sun-drenched corridors.

The building itself was named to the National Register of Historic Places, and is close to other prime examples of 20th-century architecture. Just around the block you'll find the Art Deco inspired Asheville City Building as well as the S&W Cafeteria building.

Architect Douglas Ellington said that he designed the buildings to interact with their mountain backdrops. The city has done a a great job maintaining them--meaning that the area has a lot more to see than just the changing leaves.

Related Stories:
· National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary [Official Site]
· Grove Arcade [Official Site]
· Architecture Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: kjb]

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