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hauntedheadnc

Facts about Asheville

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So, how about it? What facts do you know about Asheville, and the surrounding areas? I ask because I put a new fact about the area in my signature each month on another forum, plus this is a good way to share the sort of esoterica that most people would never suspect or know about.

So again, what do you know about the famous people, the buildings, the history, the terrain?

Did you know that Asheville installed the second electric streetcar system in America, or that the neighborhoods of Montford, Biltmore Village, West Asheville, and Victoria were once all independent towns? Did you know that the French Broad River is the third oldest in the world, or that Arthur Murray of dance-step diagram fame once taught dance lessons at the Battery Park Hotel?

Lay it on me. If you've got the knowledge, I wanna know too! Nothing is too vague or obscure -- just the facts, people. Just the facts...

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Asheville was incorporated in 1797 with an area of 0.10 square miles.

The Kennilworth community was also a town before being annexed by Asheville.

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aside from being the birthplace of author thomas wolfe... asheville, was also the place where nina simone (born in tryon, nc) lived and studied music @ the allen high school for girls, before going to julliard. zelda fitzgerald (married to f. scott) died in a fire @ highlands hospital in asheville.... the fitzgerald's frequented the grove park inn often. also, in the mid last century, black mountain was home to some of the most influential artists and thinkers of the twentieth century. black mountain college, next to lake eden, was a breeding ground of creative mavericks such as buckminster fuller, josef albers, john cage, willem de kooning, jacob lawerence, franz kline, robert rauschenberg, merce cunningham, robert creely, leo lioni, and cy twombly. albert einstein and william carlos williams were on the board of directors.

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All I know is that "I got it in Asheville"

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Back in the 1700's and 1800's plantation owners in Charleston used to escape the coastal humidity and heat by vacationing in the Flat Rock and Asheville areas. There is said to be some architecture in both places that was influenced by Charleston designs.

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Found an interesting article today about the architect for the Wachovia building on Prichard Park. This is a must read for all who want to crucify the architect. Turns out they had lots of great plans for the site, but Wachovia's staff man-handled the design. It is a long interview with Tony Lord a founding member of Six Associates and architect for Ramsey library at UNCA, Pack Memorial library, among others. The Wachovia stuff is at the very end.

http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/oralh.../SHRC/lord.html

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Interesting link!

My favorite quotation:

"Hell, we tried everything. Couldn't crack that fortress Wachovia mentality."

"Before, there were serious shops in that thing, and the shopper went right around from Patton Avenue and up to Haywood with continuously something to look at in the windows. Now, from beyond Church Street up there to the corner of College Street, they haven't got anything to look at at all except that damn building. That glaring building...nothing going on.

Too bad.

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There are some interesting tie-ins to this discussion in the article as well about Black Mountain College. I think his observations are very well put... Summarizing the college as a breading ground of creativity, but not as much for the students as it was for the faculty.

Interesting link!

My favorite quotation:

"Hell, we tried everything. Couldn't crack that fortress Wachovia mentality."

"Before, there were serious shops in that thing, and the shopper went right around from Patton Avenue and up to Haywood with continuously something to look at in the windows. Now, from beyond Church Street up there to the corner of College Street, they haven't got anything to look at at all except that damn building. That glaring building...nothing going on.

Too bad.

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Here's one you don't know and will take a loooong time for you to dig up (just ask my aunt!). My mother's family use to own all the land that Asheville stands on; as far east as Old Fort passing and as far south as Lake Lure. It was lost when a great (4th or 5th??) grandmother was served with a notice to pay taxes on the land. Since her husband had recently died and she didn't have the time or energy to take care of it, she never paid the tax on it and the city/county "took it". Here's where the mystery lies - the land was a king's land grant to my mother's family - it was considered sovereign land and untaxable after the Constitution was written. If it was untaxable, how did the county/city take it from her for nonpayment of taxes? I haven't talked to her (my aunt) in awhile, but I heard not too long ago she had hired a Constitutional lawyer to assist her. It'll be interesting to hear the results.

CWK

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