G – The Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC – A Man With A Dream – Edward Wiley Grove

Welcome to the #AtoZ Blog Challenge and a Tour of Hotels & Inns

grovinn3A Youtube Video will give you a tour through this amazing Inn

During the 1880s, Edwin W. Grove,(1850-1927) owner and founder of Grove’s Pharmacy and Paris Medicine Company of St. Louis, Missouri, began spending summers in Asheville, NC. A bronchitis sufferer, Grove’s doctor hoped the mountain climate would prove beneficial.  Grove came to love the area, spending more time in Asheville. He became involved in the growth and development of the small city. In time, Grove became known as the “Father of Modern Asheville.”

Grove had a vision of a grand lodge built of the same stone  on which the Inn sits. In 1910 he began to accumulate land. He bought farms and sloped areas to the top of Sunset Mountain. He hired his son-in-law, Fred L. Seely. (1871-1943), who had no formal training as an architect, but served as both amateur architect and contractor on the project.

Workers from across the South converged on a grassy mountain slope overlooking the city. Hundreds of mules, wagons, pulleys and ropes were used to move the harvested uncut granite from Sunset Mountain that was used in the exterior walls and chimneys of the Inn, built in five sections, joined end-to-end and step terrace-like along the mountain ridge.  Grove himself ordered that “not a piece of stone was to be visible to the eye except it show the time-etched face given it by thousands of years of sun and rain that had beaten on it.”

Construction began in 1912 and was completed in 11 months and 27 days. Circus tents were erected on the job site to house the workers. The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet.

The hotel was outfitted with furnishings from the Roycrofters of East Aurora, New York, one of the most important designers and manufacturers of Arts and Crafts furniture, metal work and other accessories. The hotel lobby is noted for its enormous granite fireplaces and an expansive porch with its scenic overlook. I have sat on that porch over-looking the valley below; surrounded by suburb craftsmanship and mountain beauty. There one feels connected to a living history, a dream come true.

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge April 2016 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to G – The Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC – A Man With A Dream – Edward Wiley Grove

  1. Looks like a beautiful place to stay!

  2. One of my favorites! And another great place for a holiday visit. The 23rd Annual National Gingerbread Competition is scheduled for November 23, 2016 to January 9, 2017. Last year’s winner, Wishing Tree, was remarkable.

    • I hope people see your comment, Marian. I was there one Christmas time and saw the Gingerbread houses. Somewhere I have photographs of some of them. What a sight! Thank you for adding this good piece of information to the post. YOU are appreciated.

  3. johnvic8 says:

    I do believe we sat on that porch with you. Great place.

  4. noelleg44 says:

    We’ve stayed here once – when my kids were 5 and 2. Diners were upset when we brought them into the room, with a high chair. Patrick loved the escargot and Cameron ate baby food nicely. Afterward an elderly couple came over and complimented us on our children!

  5. trishafaye says:

    Oh look at that gorgeous building!!
    Love it!

  6. claowue says:

    Somehow it looks like a place from a foreign planet. 😉

  7. Kathe W. says:

    gosh! What a fabulous place!

  8. Stepheny, I can’t remember if we’ve actually been to the Grove Park Inn or only driven by there, but I’m working on a list of things to do in Asheville and I will add this to the list. I like visiting Asheville. It’s a nice city for its size and I love its location nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m going to have to read your other A2Z posts now. I have yet to develop a good rhythm with this challenge visits. lol Thanks for popping in for a visit yesterday. I hope you’ll decide to join me again! 😉

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage: GSMNP #AprilA2Z

    • You can visit the Grove Park without spending any money, looking around, sitting on the porch, but they have a lovely room for lunch too. You will enjoy the time spent. Think of me if you get there. Come back and see me when you can and we’ll “do” some more hotels and inns.

  9. Enjoyed looking through your A-Z so far but I’m really looking forward to having “Tea” in a couple of weeks!

  10. kei says:

    I love the combination of rustic, historical architecture with the modern amenities. I would love to spend a long weekend relaxing and enjoying this hotel and exploring the city.

    • Think fall when if you can plan a trip to the area. The changing of the color would be an added incentive to put this on your list. One of the nice things about the Grove Park is that you can come and enjoy it without having to spend the night if it exceeds your budget. I have never spend the night, but wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving it out for the #Challenge.

  11. Gail says:

    “not a piece of stone was to be visible to the eye except it show the time-etched face given it by thousands of years of sun and rain that had beaten on it.” love it! What a unique and interesting challenge theme you have chosen!

  12. My husband and I stayed there for the first time back in 1988 when it was still relatively inexpensive and have gone back a few times since. A night or two at the Grove Park Inn and a day at Biltmore makes for a great weekend away. The original section of the hotel in gorgeous. It’s worth the trip to sit in the lobby and appreciate all the Arts and Crafts touches. The side lights are gorgeous. I’m not sure yet if I like the big addition they built onto the hotel, but I guess that progress.

    • I agree with you 100%. Just sitting in the lobby is an experience worth enjoying. Christmas time is a magical choice to see the Biltmore and the Inn. I’ve not forgotten the combination. A special place in living the North Carolina life.

  13. A friend of mine had her wedding and reception here, although we stayed elsewhere. Lovely place and a really interesting town too.

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