“It’s part of our soul, an example of our potential as a community, connecting us to our past and those spirited few who invigorated Asheville in the 1880s and 1890s with their grand aspirations”
William Green Raoul
Thomas Wadley Raoul
Brick intersection and wood street sign is seen at the corner of Cherokee and Orchard Roads looking East at Cherokee Cottage.
Albemarle Park is a landmark in residential planning, architecture and landscape design that has been recognized to be of national significance. It is the result of a special collaboration of three prominent men during the 1890s: William Green Raoul, a prominent railroad executive, Bradford Lee Gilbert, renowned Architect and Samuel Parsons, Jr., an important Landscape Architect, both from New York City.
In 1886, William Green Raoul and his wife, Mary Wadley Raoul purchased the 35 acre R. W. Deaver farm with the intention of building a summer place for their family of twelve. By 1897, they had decided to develop the property into a “residential park” with an English inn, housekeeping cottages and private residences. With their son Thomas Wadley Raoul as foreman, the Albemarle Park Company was formed and the vision for Albemarle Park began to take shape. Parsons sited the Inn and the cottages so that full advantage could be taken of the mountain views. His planting plan emphasized the special quality of the natural landscape and the importance of "shared viewscapes”. Gilbert designed unique homes for the sites of varying architectural styles and excellent craftsmanship.
The Lodge, known also as The Gatehouse, on Charlotte Street was the first building built in 1897 and served as Thomas Wadley Raoul’s residence and office for Albemarle Park. The Manor Inn was the centerpiece and was opened on New Year’s Day 1899.
By 1913, 24 significant structures had been built by the Albemarle Park Company: The Lodge in 1897; The Manor Inn, Clover, Columbus, Milfoil, and Shamrock Cottages in 1898; Orchard Cottage in 1899; Clematis Cottage (presently called Laurel) in 1901; Clio and Galax Cottages in 1902; Cherokee Cottage and The Clubhouse in 1903; Rosebank Cottage in 1905; Manzanita, Crow’s Nest, Dahlia, Daffodil, and Larkspur Cottages in 1906; Hollyhock and Marigold Cottages in 1907; Dogwood and Kalmia Cottages in 1910; and Fox Hall and Fox Den by 1913. During this time there were also five other cottages built as private homes by owners of empty lots purchased from Albemarle Park Co. These five were: Alva Glen, Brown Bear, Wildfell, Possum Trot and Breezemont.
After the death of William Green Raoul in 1913, Edwin Wiley Grove purchased the Manor and additional properties in 1920 to add to his other holdings in the area. Additional cottages, private residences and accessory buildings continued to be built up into the 1950s. Through the years the cottages became year-round homes and the one-time vacation resort grew into a residential neighborhood.
Albemarle Park was designated as a National Register of Historic District in 1977 and as a local historic district in 1989. It is unique among Asheville’s local historic districts in that every single one of its significant structures is still intact and relatively unchanged today.
CONTENT THOUGHOUT THIS SECTION FROM: "The Manor and Cottages" by Jane Gianvito Mathews, AIA and Richard A. Mathews
The Albemarle Park~Manor Grounds Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), federally designated, tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.
Post Office Box 2231, Asheville, North Carolina 28802-2231