A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina

By Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, Jennifer F. Martin

A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina

496 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 383 illus., 30 maps, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4767-1
    Published: April 1999

Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts

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Awards & distinctions

2004 Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History (for the series)

2003 Special Book Award Recognizing an Outstanding Guide Book Series, Southeast Society of Architectural Historians

This portable field guide to the historic architecture of western North Carolina covers 1,200 historic buildings in 25 counties in the foothills and mountains. It introduces readers to the region's rich and diverse architectural heritage--from the log farmstead to the opulent mountain retreat, and from ancient earthen mounds of the Cherokee to twentieth-century hydroelectric dams and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Featuring more than 370 photographs and 36 maps, the guide is written for travelers and residents alike. It offers concise entries on notable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities, emphasizing buildings that are visible from the road and indicating sites that are open to the public.

A project of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office of the Division of Archives and History and its western office in Asheville, the book reflects more than twenty-five years of fieldwork and research in the agency's statewide architectural survey and National Register of Historic Places programs. A previous volume covers eastern North Carolina and a future volume will cover the piedmont region.

About the Authors

Catherine Bishir is senior architectural historian and survey coordinator and author of North Carolina Architecture. She is affiliated with the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office.
For more information about Catherine W. Bishir, visit the Author Page.

Michael Southern is research historian and, with Catherine Bishir, coauthor of A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina. He is affiliated with the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office and was formerly a preservation specialist with the Western Office of Archives and History in Asheville.
For more information about Michael T. Southern, visit the Author Page.

Jennifer Martin is National Register coordinator. She is affiliated with the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office and was formerly a preservation specialist with the Western Office of Archives and History in Asheville.
For more information about Jennifer F. Martin, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"This guidebook succeeds in allowing people to introduce themselves comfortably to architecture for the pure joy of ornamentation, craftsmanship, and historical association. . . . It is timely not only as a record of where we have been but as a reminder of the range of choices the past has to offer the future. . . . Based on its quality and availability, it could have a greater impact on the appreciation of North Carolina's architecture than any other publication in the last fifty years. . . . Because of its thoughtful organization and excellent presentation, this guidebook is a prototype in establishing an increased level of accessibility for those wishing to explore architecture from a regional perspective."--Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

"The book is a pleasure not only to read but also to use in the field. The authors devote more than eighty pages to an insightful introduction that summarizes the historical development of the western region and that deftly links architectural changes to broader developments such as Indian removal, industrialization, and the rise of the tourism industry."--Journal of Southern History

"A stunningly articulate, witty, artful, but dry-eyed introduction to the architecture of western North Carolina. . . . There is no other state, certainly no large state, whose preservation efforts have been so consistently and effectively made available to the public. It is difficult to imagine a North Carolina resident who would not want to own this book (and its companions). Nor would a visitor to this richly diverse state want to plan a trip without immediately reaching for a copy."--North Carolina Historical Review

"The three-volume guide to the historic architecture of North Carolina may top the list of guide books. These three books provide what is surely the most comprehensive, historically and culturally informative, and easy-to-use set of guides to any state in the nation."--ARRIS

"Those who love the mountains, or love history, or want to know more about the kinds of structures that they see every day will want to own A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina--and keep their copies in their cars whenever they travel in Western North Carolina."--D.G. Martin, syndicated columnist

"This architectural guide is thorough, invaluable, and surprising. As a native of western North Carolina and a devotee of its history, I am startled to learn how little I know about places long familiar to me. An indispensable volume for resident and tourist alike, [it] is also great fun simply to read!"--Fred Chappell