Project Real Asheville: What secret nooks, crannies and stories do you want to share that makes Asheville, Asheville?


On Reddit, someone is sharing his or her favorite best-kept secrets and hidden fun in Asheville, and asking others to do the same:

I made a flippant suggestion that the real Asheville was a guy noodle dancing at a Belle Chere jam band show. I apologize and to make up for this narrow vision of Asheville, here are three secrets:

  1. When I “ran away from home” in high school, I spent a week living in the Asheville city building’s foundation. I believe you can still access it by way of a 3′ tall chain link door on the south side (I believe it is on the 2nd tier).
  2. The best apple orchard in town is above the A.C. Reynolds’ cross country trail on the east side. It was part of the Sayles’ property and had been left roughly unattended.
  3. If you go up the west bell tower of St. Lawrence basilica, you can see that the unfinished staircase is a series of half arches with projecting bricks as hand-holds. It is the same unsupported layering of tiles construction that is used to make the dome, but seen in cross section.

So, genuine apology that Asheville is just a bunch of dunk guys dancing badly. Now it’s your turn.

31 responses so far. A sampling:

If you go to the City Building, walk into the elevator lobby and check out the gray marble walls. Those are York Fossil slabs, which are a good example of stylolytic limestone. You’ll see a couple of different things in the marble including fossilized clam shells(dark, curved shapes) and fossilized crinoids(round shapes). The squiggle lines that look like something from a seismograph are where limestone dissolved and non-limestone material took its place. Link

At Central United Methodist Church, check out the limestone block to the left of the steps between the walkway and the garden. You can see the skeletal remains of bryozoans. Link

There are some other neat geological oddities in Asheville. Those are two that really stood out for me.

That is mighty generous of you 🙂 If you want to learn more about Asheville and the surrounding areas, take up geocaching. I’m a native here and thought I knew a lot about this area, but I’ve learned more about my home in the past six years from geocaching than what I’ve learned in the 37 years prior.

The Masonic Temple downtown is incredible, and they’ve recently been making an effort to open up to the public. If you go inside and are pleasant, you might get a tour!
Don’t know if it’s still possible, but in the past you used to be able to get onto the roof of the Flat Iron building downtown. The staircase goes all the way up, and they used to not lock the door.