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