Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 2.01.22 PMFrom the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County:

Jarrett’s Printing Press & Barbee-Clark Tobacconists: This is the Lexington Street facade of the building that Central United Methodist Church announced in a recent congregant newsletter it will be demoishing.

The building is unique for its long history, and for the fact that the building’s outer shell covers another building, an old church. The original church was built in the 1880s, then became a laundry and dry cleaners.

Don’t know yet what Central United plans to do at the site. Will update with more info when I get it.

More photos from the preservation society:





  1. Pingback: Demolition begins on downtown Asheville building between Church St., S. Lex

  2. This is the old site of Swannanoa Cleaners, and apparently it’s so rife with chemicals (both dry cleaning and the previous occupants) it’s now a “Brownfields” site. From what I understand, Central Methodist wanted to renovate the building and use it as a community space but the cost of cleaning it up is so astronomical they can’t make it work.

    Looks like a parking lot is inevitable. I’ve heard a rumor that the Preservation Society would like to salvage it if you would like to help them with that effort.

  3. I hope they open a fitness center

  4. A little bit of Matthew 6:6 would go a long way in both historic preservation and green space preservation. Enough with all the church parking lots that are empty 90% of the time.

  5. If the old dry cleaner has contaminated the building with PERC, I do not think it can be saved. Looking at the pictures I am guessing that the church doesn’t want the liability of leaving it standing. Thus ‘parking lot’ becomes the cheapest/easiest project. No one will be able to build anything on that site without spending $$$. The sad part of preservation is that we have to preserve the buildings every day. If we leave them dead for thirty years they cannot simply be fixed up when they become threatened. We need incentives to make it cheaper to occupy an existing building rather than flatten them and build new. In the meantime, lets ban the use of PERC.

  6. It is an old decrepit building. That hardly makes it historic, except in the sense that everything already built is historic.

  7. can and will be a better venue than the tax give money than orange peel. i got the first 20 grand. letS go!

  8. What a waste of space.

  9. That’s quite interesting. I remember noticing that building a few months ago. On the side of the building that faces The Chocolate Lounge, there is an old sign you can barely make out that says “Jarrett’s Press Inc.”.

  10. Beautiful old building likely with much life left in it. The church probably thinks more people will attend if there is more parking.

  11. Mountaingoat says:

    I believe the site was contaminated (old Dry Cleaners) and the church is limited in what they can do there. At least that’s the story I have always been told…

  12. I voted against this at DTC. There has been to my knowledge no formal request for a reccommendation from the historic resources commission on this matter. It was originally supposed to be a life center for the church. It is in bad shape but they let it get that way (the church that owns it). There should be some standard of maintenance of buildings that are contributing structures in our designated historic districts. To let them fall to such disrepair only to build surface parking is a disgrace, against DTMP reccommendations, and fails efforts to build a dense urban core, and meets in no way an effort to become a greener city.

  13. hell no!!

    maybe somebody with brains, cash, acumen, and without local government grant money, (not saying the mighty orange peel by name), would make this joint a mighty entertainment venue. or is that what the powers that be are “feared of”?

  14. Preservationist says:

    Could you show us a picture of the building as it is today?

  15. SuckItMcGee says:

    I’d like to pics of the inside of this building, especially how the existing church is integrated into the newer warehouse architecture.

  16. they have plans for a parking lot …

  17. The address is actually 22 Church Street, it’s right next door to the Altamont Theatre (to the South) and it is separated from the church property by an unnamed (at least on Google) alley … seems like the building was in the news within the past year or so, because of the church within the larger structure …

  18. Can we see an image of which bldg it is on Lex Ave today?

  19. hauntedheadnc says:

    From what I remember from articles about this plan years ago, they don’t plan to do anything with the site other than add yet another blight of surface parking, which we will then get to enjoy until our grandchildrens’ grandchildren are dying of old age. I don’t now, nor have I ever understood the logic behind deliberately building blight or, in the case of the McKibbon project over by the basilica, fighting to protect the blight we have. Surface parking is the most egregious waste of space you can find in an urban downtown — and as much as many people here would like to think otherwise, downtown is urban. We don’t need suburban junk like surface parking lots in our urban downtown.

    • Classic denial.

      Asheville is NOT simply urban, it is a tourism center. Tourists want parking. Until Asheville decides to attract non-tourism employers (and I am not saying it should, only stating that it deliberately doesn’t) then what tourists and tourist-driven businesses want, they will get.

      Asheville deliberately takes steps to dissuade industries other than tourism and retirement real estate from locating here, such as roundabouts that large trucks cannot negotiate, then complains when tourism drives all of its’ development decisions.

      I wonder how long the breweries will stay when the city’s pro-urban, anti-vehicle lobby begins to pressure them over the inconvenience of their delivery trucks. Oh, wait, West Asheville has already started that!

      • hauntedheadnc says:

        Classic denial? Seriously? Are you seriously telling me that if we demolish downtown Asheville piece by piece and replace it with parking lots, the tourists will still have something to even come and see?

        I’m sorry, but if you want suburbs, go to Charlotte, which deliberately tore down about 90% of its downtown and is today doing a piss-poor job of rebuilding anything even remotely as interesting as what was lost. There is no reason whatsoever that we cannot have urban economic development — and do you know, or can you even imagine, where you’d put the parking for it?

        You’d put it in garages and decks with buildings wrapped around them or built over them. It’s as simple as that. There is no reason at all to tear down downtown to accommodate cars when the entire reason that people come to see it is because it was built in an era when communities were built to accommodate people, and we were fortunate enough not to tear most of it down the way so many other places did.

        Bottom line, if you want suburban dreck, stay on Tunnel Road. If you want urbanity, come downtown. But do NOT try to turn urban downtown into a parking swamp like Tunnel. All you’ll do is kill the reason people come at all.

        Put that in your pipe and deny it.

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