Haywood and Page, late 1960s
The Asheville Auditorium, pictured here, opened in 1940, constructed with WPA funding to replace a 1904 facility. The Asheville Civic Center would incorporate it as the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium within its larger structure in 1974, a product of Asheville’s first urban renewal project, “Civic Development Project No. 1,” planning for which started in February 1960. Some area leaders had backed a civic center built outside of downtown. Two of the performers at the Auditorium were Van Cliburn, on Nov. 5, 1965; and, in 1968, 22-year-old Dolly Parton kicking off her career with “Something Fishy Going On.” Newly re-made Woodfin Ave. led from the Heart of Asheville Motel through the redevelopment area to the Lexington Ave. open air market and Thomas Wolfe’s old neighborhood. To the right of the auditorium, in the photo, is the George Vanderbilt Hotel, once the premiere convention center in Asheville. In the early 1970s, the Federal government bought it for low-income apartments, stripped the building down to its girders, and faced it with unadorned brick (aesthetically improved in 2005). The exterior of its sister building, Battery Park Hotel, was retained when made into apartments thanks to the advent of preservation tax credits. (Photo by Lou Harshaw from Jim Coman collection.)
"Newly re-made" is better--thanks!