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Historic Manor Inn Apartments Sprucing Up For the Holidays.

The Historic Manor Inn Apartments, located at 265 Charlotte Street in Asheville, NC, is receiving a fresh coat of paint and some holiday decorations just in time for the holiday season. The Manor Inn, built in 1898, was purchased by Jim and Pam Turner in 1991 and retrofitted to luxury apartments. At the time of the Turner's purchase, the historic structure faced possible demolition due to its dilapidated condition.

The Manor Inn, throughout its history, had been operated as an inn until it was closed in 1990. The local Preservation Society temporarily rescued it from demolition in 1990, until the Turners purchased the property from the Preservation Society and completed the building's restoration. The Manor Inn Apartments is now in the National Register of Historic Places.

William Greene Raoul, the former president of Central Railroad of Georgia, built the Manor Inn and Cottages in 1898, at the same time George Vanderbilt was constructing his famous Biltmore House. Asheville, at the time, was fast becoming a summer mountain resort destination for people from throughout the eastern seaboard.

Raoul thought Asheville needed an inn and resort that could accommodate families wishing to escape the stifling summer heat of the South. In addition to the Manor Inn, Raoul also had a number of single-family "cottages" constructed to accommodate families who wished to have more spacious accommodations for their children. These elegant cottages were built in a similar English Tudor style of architecture as the Manor Inn.

The 80,000-square-foot former inn was restored by the Turner's to its earlier grandeur in a painstaking 2.5-year restoration effort beginning in 1991. The Manor Inn was converted to 35 individual apartments during the restoration. Each apartment has its own central HVAC system and is separately metered for electricity and gas.

The apartments include 1, 2 and three bedroom units. One of the most outstanding units is the "Grace Kelly Suite." This unit features three bedrooms and three baths. It has a formal dinning room and a large living room with a fireplace. The unit also has a large private deck with wonderful views of the mountains. The unit was occupied by Grace Kelly when she was in Asheville filming the movie, "The Swan."

R. S. Griffin Architects, PA was the architectural firm hired for the restoration and retrofit project. Robbie Sweetser was the field architect for the project.

Considered by many to be Asheville's premier apartment complex, the Manor Inn Apartments enjoys 100% occupancy throughout the year, according to Tom Leslie, president of Leslie and Associates, Inc. Leslie and Associates, Inc. manages the Manor Inn Apartments for the Turner's. Leslie says, "The Manor Inn Apartments have become a very successful economic entity and is no longer threatened with economic obsolescence."

The Manor Inn's original common areas were also preserved during the restoration. Those areas include the main lobby that contains a fireplace with the original iron works; the 1898 dining room, that also has a fireplace, and contains the original dining tables and chairs; and Peacock Alley, which is the long connecting hallway between the main lobby and the 1913 wing. The common areas can be leased for receptions or wedding parties.

The Manor Inn residents are able to enjoy the common areas for social hours, reading a book or playing a card game in front of the one of the fireplaces that contain gas logs. The Manor Inn is simply elegant apartment living at its best. Pam Turner says, "Every year our pride increases for having saved this wonderful Asheville landmark."

The single-family cottages were unique due to the fact that they were not built with kitchens or individual heating plants. The homes were heated by the steam boiler at the Manor Inn. The steam was carried to each home by underground steam pipes. Some of the underground steam lines extended over one hundred and fifty yards from the main boiler at the Manor Inn.

The Manor Inn had an elegant dining room, and the guests staying in the single-family cottages were expected to have their meals at the Manor Inn's dining room. The rental fee for the cottages also included meals for the cottage guests.

Two of the original Manor Inn cottages, Columbus Cottage and Clover Cottage, are still part of the original Manor Inn property. Both underwent a restoration at the same time as the Manor Inn. As is the case in each of the apartments in the Manor Inn's main building, individual HVAC units and kitchens were installed in each of these cottages.

Anyone interested in inquiring about the Manor Inn Apartments can contact Leslie and Associates, Inc. at 828-253-1517. Leslie and Associates' website can be found at www.leslieandassoc.com. Leslie and Associates.

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