Today four of the neighborhood sections, Grove Park, Proximity Park, Sunset Terrace and the Kimberly Amendment are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Richard Sharp Smith, the supervising architect of the Biltmore Estate, stayed in Asheville for several decades and influenced much of the neighborhood’s distinctive architectural style, the “English Derived Craftsman,” which was inspired by the American and English Arts and Crafts Movement. To see two fine examples of Richard Sharp Smith’s work, stop by St. Mary’s Church for some refreshments and Stop #6 on this year’s Tour.
The Grove Park Sunset Mountain Neighborhood was designed and developed by St. Louis entrepreneur Edwin Wiley Grove along with Chauncey Beadle, landscaper and superintendent of the Biltmore Estate. A superb example of early twentieth century planned residential development, the neighborhood’s homes and important architectural landmarks remain remarkably intact today. In 1907, Grove seized the opportunity to purchase the land surrounding the planned Grove Park Inn and sold it to developers who created a housing stock of delightful dwellings. The streetcar lines at the turn of the last century and the accessibility and affordability of the automobile played an important role in the neighborhood’s platting as a “streetcar suburb” with garages, communal parking and larger lots for homes. Today, the streets are lined with trees and sidewalks, and parks are scattered throughout the area. The current residents share a passion to maintain and protect their legacy.
Complimentary parking for the tour will be at the Grove Park Country Club, not the Inn. You can pick up a full program at the main ticket booth on Country Club Road at the base of the Grove Park Country Club or at any of the stops along the tour. Continuous transportation is included in your ticket purchase by trolley and minibus-where you can jump on and off—but of course you can drive your own vehicle if you prefer. It would be wise to wear comfortable shoes.