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Basilica of St. Lawrence

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My wife and I were in Asheville this past weekend and in walking around we ran into a lady doing upkeep on the flower beds in front of St. Lawrence. She told us a bit about the history of the church and welcomed us to go inside to take some shots (I was photographing the outside of the place) as it is open to the public.

I had no idea such a grand church was in Asheville and will be going back in the future to get more detailed and well-though out shots, but I wanted to share what I got this time around:

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Wow, actually I've never seen the inside of St. Lawrence. I think you heard the story already, but the plans for this church were drawn up by a guy that George Vanderbilt brought over from Spain to assist with the design and construction of Biltmore. Quite a few of the unique, highly detailed early 20th century structures in Asheville have their roots in the Vanderbilts and Biltmore.

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It is amazing inside and open pretty late according to their website. For anyone visiting Asheville I would encourage you to swing by and take a peek. The pictures above simply do not do the place justice, particularly the size of the dome.

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I had the pleasure to step in around Christmas time a few years ago. It is indeed an amazing building on the inside.

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I go there to pray whenever I'm upset. It's the holiest place in town. The cathedral in Biltmore Village is second.

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St. Lawrence and First Baptist (downtown) and All Souls (Biltmore) are all quite impressive.

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Wow, actually I've never seen the inside of St. Lawrence. I think you heard the story already, but the plans for this church were drawn up by a guy that George Vanderbilt brought over from Spain to assist with the design and construction of Biltmore. Quite a few of the unique, highly detailed early 20th century structures in Asheville have their roots in the Vanderbilts and Biltmore.

Guastavino had been in the US and was already quite successful prior to being hired by George Vanderbilt for the work at the Biltmore Estate. There are a number of famous structures in NYC and throughout the country that bear his mark.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guastavino_tile

There was also a stonemason by the name of Bitter who did a lot of work on the Biltmore House and his descendants remain as Asheville residents to this day.

By the way, if you do get a chance to tour the Basilica, try to get a tour by one of the docents. You'll be privy to a lot of additional information about the building that you wouldn't otherwise get.

Edited by Lootles

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I go there to pray whenever I'm upset. It's the holiest place in town. The cathedral in Biltmore Village is second.

St. Mary's at the corner of Macon Avenue and Charlotte Street is another church on the same level, in my opinion. We call it "the Enchanted Church."

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St. Mary's at the corner of Macon Avenue and Charlotte Street is another church on the same level, in my opinion. We call it "the Enchanted Church."

This is Asheville we're talking about here -- it probably really is enchanted. Is it open during the day? Whenever things are going wrong, I like to spend time in churches until I feel some peace again. Going to St. Lawrence or the cathedral usually makes me feel much better, but if there's yet another place I could go and meditate and pray, I'd love to know about it. Unfortunately, most of the churches here are locked during the day.

Edited by hauntedheadnc

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This is Asheville we're talking about here -- it probably really is enchanted. Is it open during the day? Whenever things are going wrong, I like to spend time in churches until I feel some peace again. Going to St. Lawrence or the cathedral usually makes me feel much better, but if there's yet another place I could go and meditate and pray, I'd love to know about it. Unfortunately, most of the churches here are locked during the day.

I believe it is open during the day. It certainly used to be though I haven't been by there for a while. It's a lovely little church, I hope you like it.

http://stmarysasheville.org/worship.html

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There is new information out on the property in front of St. Lawrence:

This is the CT article from July 13:

and the website for the development team:

with video:

Edited by archiham04

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After hearing of their involvement in the BB&T overhaul I am not surprised that they have pulled out of this project I am honestly somewhat relieved since I think the designs for this hotel were a slapdash pastiche designed in a failed attempt to be contextual.

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