Photograph: The drugstore at the Young Men’s Institute in 1905. Image from the Pack Memorial Library.
On September 5, 1891, George W. Vanderbilt II purchased land for the Young Men’s Institute in Asheville. During construction of his lavish home in Asheville, Vanderbilt
decided to establish a community center for his African American
workers. The building, constructed in 1892 and 1893, was designed by
Richard Sharp Smith, who was also the supervising architect of the