Thursday, June 30, 2016

Buck Hotel: Passing of Old Tavern

"Buck Hotel," The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), Sunday, 4 March 1906, Page 1

Passing of Old Tavern. The Buck, Asheville's Oldest Hotel, to Give Place to Modern Six-Story Hostelry.

Asheville, March 1. -- The old buck Hotel and the wooden structure adjoining are going. The work of tearing away these old landmarks was undertaken this morning. The work is in charge of McDowell & Spears and will consume probably two weeks. The buildings are located on North Main street in the very centre of Asheville and were built more than half a century ago. They are to be replace by a handsome and modern hotel of six stories of frame steel and concrete reinforcement with a roof-garden. The removal of the Buck Hotel means the passing of an ancient landmark; the taking away of the oldest structure in the city and a structure withal around which hovered much that had to do with Asheville when the city was a mere burg. The Buck Hotel at one time was a principal tavern in western North Carolina. It was for years conspicuous by a unique sign denoting its name--the antlers and head of a great buck. The removal of the Buck Hotel has been threatened for many years. It was some ten years ago that rumor had it the Buck was to go. This rumor inspired Will Aiken, now private secretary to the Governor of Montana, but then doing newspaper work in Asheville, to write what was declared to be the best story of the day. The story had to do with a "convention of bed bugs" held in the Buck Hotel "for the purpose of discussing the cruel report of destruction." But now the old landmark is assuredly going. Already portions of the buildings have been torn down and before the middle of the month all that will remain of the famous tavern will be piles of dust-covered timbers and soft-clay bricks. The tavern in the days before the war housed many prominent men. The Buck was the stopping place of hot and cattle drivers that passed through Asheville with great droves of animals before the days of the railroad. At that time there were great vacant stretches of land surrounding the tavern. This land was fenced and into these enclosures were fed great droves of hogs and cattle every night and day. It was a well-known stopping place for the drivers and usually these men spent the night at the tavern.

The building that will replace the old tumble-down frame structure will be a modern and commodious hotel. The hotel will be erected by C. H. Miller in charge of the Smith estate. It will be a thing of beauty and credit to Asheville. Plans for the building as accepted were drawn by Architect R. S. Smith of Asheville. The structure will be six stories in height with a frontage on North Main street of 128 feed and 129 feet on West College. It will cost about $125,000.

There will be 158 bedrooms, with telephone service in every room, two passenger elevators, a dining room to seat 200 persons, and 60 baths. There will also be an independent electric-light plant. One feature of the building will be a court with a glass roof which will extend from the main floor to the roof and the arrangements of rooms so that each room will be bounded by a corridor. On the sixth floor will be a ball-room, with a roof garden. Flowers and potted plants will find place on and around the roof garden and the whole structure will present an artistic appearance. There will be no bar-room in the building.

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