IvesterJackson Distinctive Properties & Blackstream International
are the exclusive affiliates of Christie’s International Real Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
Asheville tells the tale of two cities by bringing together a historic mountain community with a modern urban downtown.
Land of the Sky
Nestled in a thermal valley of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is a city the locals call Asheville, or, “Land of the Sky”. Poised at the confluence of the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers – not far from where the Blue Ridge meet the Smoky Mountains – this verdant paradise is home to the oldest mountain range in the world. At an elevation of 2,500 feet, the moderate climate and four distinct seasons make this mountain paradise the perfect place to enjoy year-round.
Once part of the Cherokee Nation, the first the first Europeans came to the area in 1540, but it was not until 1784 that the history of Asheville as a town, began. A century later, at the height of the Gilded Age, George Vanderbilt’s vision brought the renowned talents of architect, Richard Morris Hunt, and landscape architect, Fredrick Law Ulmsted, to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Together, Hunt and Ulmsted transformed the rugged terrain along the French Broad River and created Biltmore House,
America’s largest home. Today, the 250-room chateau continues to attract guests to the area from around the world, just as it did when it was first opened to Vanderbilt’s guests on Christmas Day in 1895.
In 1889, Asheville was the first city in North Carolina with electric rail streetcars. From the 1910s through the roaring 20s, Asheville grew to become the third largest city in the state, but that growth quickly halted with the crash of the stock market in 1929. At the time, Asheville had the largest municipal debt from infrastructure projects of any city in the US. It was not until the 1980’s, when that debt was finally repaid, that Asheville began to grow again. While slow to recover, the prior epoch ensured that the most complete collection of art deco buildings in North Carolina remained intact – the impetus for its future revival.
Where The Tale of Two Cities meets Tales of the City, the area boasts a literary history of triumph and tragedy as home to poet, Charles Sandburg, birthplace of novelist, Thomas Wolfe, and where F. Scott Fitzgerald retreated to the legendary Grove Park Inn to write in seclusion. While Armistead Maupin could easily have written any number of stories in Asheville’s progressive atmosphere, and Charles Dickens could have found inspiration in the cotswold-esque, Biltmore Village – the original township adjacent to the estate built to support the large workforce required to realize Vanderbilt’s grand endeavor – Wolfe never could have imagined the cultural jewel that Asheville would become.
Where bluegrass licks meet the aristocratic culture of the past, Asheville offers the best food, accommodations, and recreation. The verdant mountainside of the National Parks and Forests that surround the city provide great trails for walking, hiking, and mountain biking. Not far from town, rushing waterfalls and scenic waterways are perfect for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The walkable urban core, public transportation, and any number of taxi or ride-share solutions provide easy access to the surrounding neighborhoods and main attractions.
From micro-breweries to farm-to-plate cuisine, diversity is the key to Asheville. The cosmopolitan city center with its sidewalk cafes, bistros, museums and architectural masterpieces has been referred to as, “The Paris of the South.” It’s renovated and rehabbed bohemian West side is now a vibrant socially-conscious hub for young creatives and families. Blending new with the old, many buildings and properties from the 30’s and 40’s that have been
transformed over the last decade. Bike shops, boutiques, pubs, and live performance venues on Haywood Street, the main thoroughfare, provide the best mix of urban and suburban amenities.