Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Langren Hotel Site

"Portrait of the Past: Asheville’s Langren Hotel"

News of the hotel that BB&T Building owners plan to build on the site of the related parking garage, on Broadway Street, evokes former hotels at that spot.

The first was the Buck Hotel, built by James McConnell Smith in 1825, according to several sources. Hanging "very high between two immense posts," a "citizen" recalled in a 1906 issue of the Asheville Gazette-News was "an immense stag with his head erect, bearing aloft the finest pair of antlers I have ever seen … Many times have I listened to its creaking as it was set in motion by the wind." The Buck was a drover’s inn.

The Langren (pictured here), which replaced it, was for 20th century businessmen, distinguishing it from the Battery Park and Vanderbilt Hotels, which appealed to tourists.

The Langren's completion, on July 4, 1912, followed the five years it took to settle Smith's estate and benefited from financing by Gay Green and John H. Lange, from whom the hotel got its name. It was fireproof, making early use of reinforced concrete, purchased from C.H. Miller's plant on Spruce Street. The BB&T razed it in 1964.

Source: "Portrait of the Past: Asheville’s Langren Hotel" by Rob Neufeld, Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina), 19 June 2014.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Asheville Has Few Landmarks 1902

"Asheville A New City, And Has Few Landmarks"

Asheville Daily Gazette, Saturday, 19 July 1902

It was the original intention to have this article deal entirely with the building landmarks of Asheville. In collecting information for the subject it was found that inasmuch as there now stand only two buildings within the city's limits that have the distinction of being landmarks, correctly speaking, that mention of other than historic structures of "ye olden times" would necessarily have to be brought into use to make anything like an interesting story.

Asheville is the newest town in North Carolina of any importance. It has grown faster than any other and continues to do so. Sixty years ago there were only 200 white people in Asheville and 300 negroes. In 1880 there were 2000. In 1890, 9000 and 1900, 15000.

There have been more houses built within the last two years than ever before within the same length of time. One may visit any town of importance in the state and have pointed out to them homes and places of business that have been standing hundreds of years and over. Such is not the case in Asheville. Two buildings, one on North Main and College streets and one near the corner of Eagle and South Main streets are the only buildings standing that were here sixty years ago.