Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Road Trip. Day 5. Driving Around Asheville.

The Hawthornes toured Biltmore Estate
Tuesday and Wednesday, Days 3 and 4. On Thursday, Day 5, we left Asheville, and headed for Martinsville, Va., but not before taking a self-guided tour through Asheville. And don't worry. I'll be posting about the Vanderbilts and Biltmore soon. Just need to do a bit more research. After an exciting breakfast at the Early Girl Eatery, Mr. Hawthorne and I took a leisurely drive through Asheville's rather lively town. I don't remember the last time I saw a Woolworths. This was the original Five and Dime.
And this is a no-emission vehicle.
This lady was happy to pose for me.
Street musicians.
Street scenes. When was the last time you saw parking meters?
The Basilica of Saint Lawrence in downtown Asheville. This was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Gaustavino. Guastavino came to Asheville to work on the Biltmore House in the mid-1890's. He liked the area and bought land here. In 1905, he joined forces with fellow architect R. S. Smith, supervising architect of Biltmore House, and the local Catholic community to build St. Lawrence Catholic Church. The term "Basilica" dates back to early Greek and Roman times and referred to a type of public building. It wasn't until the 4th Century that Basilicas began to be used as places of worship. Today, "Basilica" is a special designation given by the Holy Father to certain churches because of their antiquity, dignity, historical importance or significance as places of worship. When St. Lawrence was designated, April 6, 1993, there were 33 other Basilicas in the US. St. Lawrence had to be consecrated and it had to be large enough to conform to the General Statues of Roman missal. St. Lawrence, with its unique dome, is the only church designed and built by the renowned Rafael Guastavino and is considered the mother church of western North Carolina. Guastavino was responsible for the revival of an ancient tile and mortar building system that had been used in Spain for centuries. His "Tile Arch System" was patented in the United States in 1885. The method uses layers of thin tile embedded in layers of mortar to create curved horizontal surfaces. Floors, roofs, ceilings, and stairs can all be formed with this system, usually in the shape of vaults or domes. No wood or steel beams were used in the construction. This particular building method creates a strong, fireproof, attractive surface. Saint Lawrence also houses the crypt of Guastavino.
I would have loved to have gone inside but Mr. Hawthorne was getting impatient. .
We continued on our way
through Asheville and I found this mural on an underpass. The Asheville Mural Project is a group of artists brought together through the nonprofit Arts 2 People with the cooperative objective of revitalizing existing urban environment and memorializing the diversity of culture and experience that Asheville offers.
I kinda liked the name of these lawyers - Contrivo and Contrivo. Has a nice ring to it. I wonder if Striped Shirt belongs to this firm.
Sheer rock cliff.
Asheville Civic Center.
And that's the end of my little tour through Asheville.

6 comments:

Kathy said...

We still have a Roses up here. It's pretty much a dive and caters to the seedier part of the neighborhood, but it's still fun to go in there once in awhile. You should come up & see it sometime.

Oh, and I see parking meters all the time downtown. They're everywhere in the big city.

Sage Trifle said...

Oh Rosie, I wish you had been able to go inside the Basilica. It is majestic, gorgeous, humbling, yet very comforting.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Sage Trifle, We will return. Now I know what to see. Can you go in anytime?

dle said...

...we don't have Roses down here, but like Kathy said it is fun to go into. We have parking meters (the City has to make money somehow) I should have told you to go to Mast General Store, I love that place.

contractors in north carolina said...

Wow. That's a great adventure. Would also love to try it. Love the painted walls. Really nice!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Contractors in NC. We went back again and actually went in the Basilica. It's beautiful.