Saturday, August 05, 2006

A History of Asheville: Parts XIII, IX, and X

Part One and explanation
Parts Two and Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
This series, so full of interesting information, peters out a bit at the end, but here's the final installment. Thanks everyone for reading, and I hope you'll busy yourselves authoring Part XI.

"The Appalachian Trail, first built in 1968, expressed the public's high priority of the outdoors.

Until 1977, Asheville had no money to invest in "urban renewal" so popular during the 1950s and 1960s in other cities. The commitment to debt repayment saved from the wrecking ball dozens of Art Deco buildings erected during the city's boom decades earlier."

"By 1980, Downtown Asheville was largely abandoned by businesses as suburban malls put severe economic pressure on those shops that remained. After hours downtown was virtually abandoned, with none of the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops which abound today.

In the early 90's, downtown development began to build the bustling community that exists today. Businesses began to take root where boarded buildings had existed before. By the millennium, downtown Asheville hosted an eclectic mix of artisans, merchants, restaurants, taverns, and offices."

"Today Asheville boasts a thriving downtown bustling with visitors from all over the world. Consistently voted one of the best places to live in the US, new residents are flocking here as technology makes the world smaller and smaller. The French Broad River is at it's cleanest Since the 1960's, thanks to the Clean Water Act passed in the 1970's. Downtown development Involves refitting derelict buildings into luxury condo's and trendy stores. Summertime Brings vacationers, and events Like Bele Chere, Shindig on the Green, and the Lexington Ave. Arts Festival."


Asheville_Pubcrawler said...

Thanks for all your work on this, Screwie.

A correction: The Appalachian Trail was actually completed in 1936. 1968 was the year Congress passed the National Trails System Act which was essentially a formality. It wasn't until 1977 that the government created the AT Project Office under the National Park Service and began acquiring lands to protect the trail corridor from encroaching development.

I suspect that many young men from the Asheville area were part of the CCC groups which cut the trail through North Carolina and Tennessee. Much of their work is still visible today in the form of graded treadway and stone retaining walls. The Carolina Mountain Club, which is based in Asheville, is today responsible for maintaining the section from Davenport Gap (just off I-40 near the Tennessee line) to Spivy Gap (north of Burnsville.)

Screwy Hoolie said...

Thanks, pubcrawler!