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  • 10

    Votes: 2 5.0%
  • 9.5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 9

    Votes: 3 7.5%
  • 8.5

    Votes: 3 7.5%
  • 8

    Votes: 9 22.5%
  • 7.5

    Votes: 7 17.5%
  • 7

    Votes: 8 20.0%
  • 6.5

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • 6

    Votes: 2 5.0%
  • 5.5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5

    Votes: 3 7.5%
  • 4.5

    Votes: 1 2.5%
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1 - 20 of 35 Posts

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...wolf in cheap clothing
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734 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pictures first, history later.

















Okay, did you get all that? Here's the story. The Grove Arcade Public Market was another gift to the city of Asheville from patent medicine magnate Edwin Wiley Grove, who also built the Grove Park Inn and its surrounding ritzy neighborhoods.

The Grove Arcade was envisioned to be the new heart of downtown Asheville the surrounding region, and was built to complement the new Battery Park Hotel (another E.W. Grove project) across Battle Square from the arcade. The building was originally envisioned as a public shopping arcade with an elegant 30-story tower rising above. Unfortunately, only the shopping arcade was finished in 1929, by the time the Great Depression struck and, coincidentally, E.W. Grove died in the new Battery Park Hotel. Thus, the tower never got built, but the arcade was finished in time to enjoy a few wildly successful years as the region's premier shopping destination. The building occupies an entire city block in downtown Asheville, and is approximately 275,000 square feet. Some of its features include hundreds of hand-carved statuary, gargoyles, ram's heads, and grotesques, and an entwined heart motif that circles the building.

During World War II, the United States government seized the arcade, evicted every tentant, and occupied the building for the next fifty years until a new Federal Building was constructed a few blocks away. Upon government tenants moving out, the city immediately began planning to reopen the building, and finally completed renovations and restorations in 2002. And so the Grove Arcade Public Market has once again become the city's must-see shopping venue.

For more information on the history, the rise and fall of, and the various stores at the Grove Arcade, visit www.grovearcade.com .
 

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303 Posts
Very nice, some great details, I love the interior! For the building type it deserves a 8.5/10!
 

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...wolf in cheap clothing
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734 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One of the most amazing things about this building, in my opinion, is the craftsmanship that went into its details. Case in point, the griffins that guard the north entrance (one is pictured), were handcarved, as was every other piece of ornamentation and statuary in the place. There are literally well over a hundred tiny human faces carved into the outside walls (they're those little nubs you see at the bottom corners of each pair of windows) and more, larger faces, inside. No two are exactly alike.

It's a pity the 30-story tower never materialized, but when you look at the frenzied destruction of historic architecture in America between 1950 and 1990, Asheville came out lucky anyway to have saved this building, especially considering that its major tenant for most of its existence was the federal government.

Speaking of that, notice the hanging light fixtures affixed to the interior walls? Only one of those glass globes survived, and that was only because it was hidden in a closet. Restorers took that surviving globe to a local glassworker, and recreated all the others in the building.
 

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46,845 Posts
7/10
 

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...wolf in cheap clothing
Joined
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734 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here are some excellent shots by four 0 four, over at SSP, who visited my city at the end of July.

This is what I was talking about when I mentioned all the handcarved faces.



This kind of thing can be found all over the interior.





The north entrance, with a griffin in situ.





 
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