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Oxford Place^^^ 50 years ago you couldn't have taken this picture because the Swannanoa Hotel would have been in the way. Don't know if the Swannanoa burned or was demolished, but it's been gone for decades, leaving a gaping hole in the Broadway streetscape.

Lexington Station^^^ More residential downtown, great. Modular construction, also great if unconventional. Underground parking? fantastic. But the use of hardi-plank siding and a pitched, black shingle roof kind of makes it look like a suburban apartment complex. However, this is not a particularly prominent location, and the "feature" building of the development (the one currently under construction along Hilliard that will include ground-floor retail) may do better from a design standpoint.

12 South Lexington^^^ 7/8 stories looks impressive when it's on a street that narrow.

21 Battery Park^^^

The Great Wall of Staples.^^^ It looks even more imposing from below. I stopped by, and they were open although they hadn't had their grand opening yet.The store seemed startlingly empty for the holidays. But who can blame folks for not shopping at a hideous fortification like that? Zoning codes along Merrimon require very small setbacks for an urban feel, but there is no requirement of entryways on the street. Staples was probably using this design as a threat - "let us build at the back of the lot with parking in front or this is what you'll end up with" - but the city didn't cave in, the plan backfired, and everybody lost. The city is now scrambling to adjust zoning laws so this won't happen again. I have no problem with Staples being on Merrimon, but I just don't see it succeeding in a building like this. I wonder if they could hollow out underneath to make room for a street-level tenant?

The new county jail^^^

The Grove Apartments under construction ^^^ (you can't really tell from the picture, but this building will fit in perfectly on this street among the 3-4 story, 1920s era apartment buildings.

This building ^^^ (center) would be demolished in the city's parking deck plan and my "battle square" idea. No big loss. The reason would be to build a connector street that would go through there to just to the right of the Vanderbilt Hotel (background/left)

Blurry picture, but the two rightmost buildings (one two-story vintage parking deck and one dilapidated 1-story retail building) would also be demolished. Once again, no big loss.

Under the city's parking deck plan, this building ^^^ would have to go. Under my idea, it could either stay or go, if it stayed it would be the only building on the same block as a public square.

The blank wall on the BellSouth building ^^^ that would be covered up by the parking deck in my plan

The more attractive side of the BellSouth bldg.^^^ This is across the street from the Grove Arcade.

Looking up Hiawassee Street from the intersection with Lexington Avenue^^^. In the background you see 37 Hiawassee, a recent hotel -> condo conversion. In the foreground is where John Lantzius's 3-ish story Lexington Park building would go.

Looking down the newly streetscaped College Street from the roundabout at Oak Street^^^. Had to tweak this one for brightness, it was getting late. To the right is where a new 10-story county office / ground floor retail building would go.

"Look!"^^^ This is painted at the crosswalks for the roundabout in Asheville to remind people which direction to look before crossing. Seems corny but it actually helps.

The Saywer Building in the foreground and the Sawyer Annex in the background. ^^^ Taken from the corner of Coxe and Hilliard.

The Dhrumor Building (fg) and the S&W Building(bg) ^^^

The venerable Grove Arcade ^^^

The Flat Iron Building ^^^

Haywood Street ^^^

The newly restored and renovated Asheville Savings Bank building^^^

The interior of the atrium at Haywood Park Hotel, just off Haywood Street.^^^

The Orange Peel, shining orange in the sunset ^^^

A neat little corner off Wall Street.^^^ This is a great example of creative use of available space downtown.

The new federal building shining in the sunset.^^^ Sucks that the front entrance has been closed since the bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995.

Looking west towards City/County Plaza from Pack Square ^^^

Carolina Lane ^^^ one of several such alleyways in downtown Asheville. How's that for some "grit?". It lines up on axis with the BB&T Building.

And lastly, the Glen Rock Hotel^^^. This once-grand building down near the river was right across the street from the old train station. The station was demolished in the 1960s, but the building remains. Two years from now, picture this building restored for residential use, plus a 7-story, 100 unit apartment / retail building to the left. Now we're talking!
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