Among the gorgeous natural scenery that it features, Asheville also boasts numerous architectural accomplishments that can be viewed all year round. Put Asheville architecture on the top of your list of things to do whether you live in the area or you’re just visiting for a few days. Keep reading for five favorite buildings to hit.

Basilica of St. Lawrence

97 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801

The brick exterior of the Basilica of St. Lawrence.

The style of one of Asheville’s most treasured pieces of architecture is Spanish Renaissance. The Basilica of St. Lawrence is a massive stone structure with a copper roof. It has the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the country and is absolutely worth a visit if you’re looking for things to do in Asheville. The basilica was completed in 1901 and designed by Rafael Guastavino.

Jackson Building

22 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801

The Jackson Building sitting in front of a Carolina blue sky.
Photo by Billy Hathorn.

The Jackson Building was commissioned by L.B. Jackson and was North Carolina’s tallest skyscraper when it was completed in 1924. Its practical design is a nod to the Neo-Gothic style from when it was built. While the interior of the building is not open to the public, it’s still worth a look from the outside as it’s a beloved visual landmark of downtown Asheville.

Asheville High School

419 McDowell St, Ashville, NC 28803

The main entrance to Asheville High School.

This one may come as a shock. Asheville High School is the local public high school in the city, but it’s also one of the great Asheville architecture sites. It was designed by Douglas Ellington in 1929. Its defining features are a central tower, clay tile roof, and granite exterior walls. If you like Ellington’s work when you visit Asheville High School, you can also visit Asheville City Hall and Asheville’s First Baptist Church, which he also designed, for things to do.

Grove Arcade

1 Page Ave, Asheville NC 28801

The exterior of Asheville's busy Grove Arcade.

The Grove Arcade was built from 1926 to 1930. The man who commissioned the job was Ed Grove himself, a self-made millionaire who had moved to Asheville only a few decades earlier. Upon opening, it became home to local shops and services such as candy stores, cigar shops, barbershops, beauty parlors, specialty grocers, and bookstalls. In World War II, the federal government took over the building and utilized it as part of the effort to win the war due to its size and remote location. Visiting this building will not only give you a taste of Asheville architecture but also of Asheville’s history.

The Manor

265 Charlotte St, Asheville NC 28801

The colorful exterior of the historic Manor Inn.

William Greene Raoul originally built The Manor, now The Historic Manor Inn Apartments, in 1898 when the Biltmore House was also in construction. The Manor was closed as an inn in 1990 and was set for demolition until the Preservation Society rescued it. Today, it is featured in the National Register of Historic Places. To get the full experience of what life in Asheville once was, you can stay in your very own Manor Inn apartment. Experience first-hand the gorgeous architecture of this region!