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


Demolition has started on a big downtown Asheville building that sits between Church Street and South Lexington Avenue.

Central United Methodist Church recently announced it was planning to tear down the building and add more surface parking. Background on the old Jarrett’s Printing Press & Barbee-Clark Tobacconists building here.

The building was also home to Swannanoa Cleaners and is known for an unusual feature – there’s an old church that sits in the center of the building, surrounded.


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Other Matt June 23, 2013 - 4:34 am

Just because it was an old building and once had a dry-cleaner, doesn’t make it dangerous or an environmental disaster.
Unfortunately you’ll never get a new building of this character from a modern builder.
Any developer with a little thought and foresight would had no problem renovating a beautiful brick building into a commercial/residential space.
Those that like to see a building like this taken down just don’t appreciate the beauty in this structure.
Yes, rectangular brick buildings can be architecturally interesting.
Rectangular and brick doesn’t make it boring, but a parking lot does equate to boring as does a glass box or tower where it doesn’t require any thought or craftsmanship.
Learn to appreciate accomplishments of the past, even if it’s a simple building.
Give me a brick office or industrial building any day of the week over a parking lot or a glass tower.

chris October 31, 2013 - 9:28 am

If past experience (in the last town I lived in) is any indication, dry cleaners leave a lot of ground contamination that would require significant remediation.

Harry Sax May 6, 2013 - 11:18 pm

maybe they’ll find a soft creamy filling in the center

Matt May 6, 2013 - 1:47 pm

Having been inhabited by a dry cleaner, the building and grounds are likely an environmental disaster that anyone hoping to re-purpose would find a financial burden. Rectangular brick buildings have architectural interest? Aloft is essentially the same thing with a fresher coat of paint.

Beth Rogers May 5, 2013 - 4:57 pm

What a shame. Seems really short sited. AVL doesn’t need more parking lots. This building could have been restored into something really unique. Has way more character and architectural interest than the new Aloft right around the corner.

indie May 6, 2013 - 6:45 pm

Just because something old doesn’t make it some worth rehabilitating. This plain, dilapidated building was a nightmare, and dangerous as well.

Murphy May 5, 2013 - 9:55 am

Aren’t there plans for a building on the site eventually … not just a surface lot.

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