This Southern belle, in historic Asheville, N.C., is a classic example of an American Foursquare home. Designed by local architect Richard Sharp Smith and built in 1918, the house is loaded with charm and original features, such as the bowed glass bay windows, and is updated with taste and style. The original woodwork looks to be mostly intact, which is extremely important to lovers of the Arts & Crafts style who are likely to be the potential buyers most attracted to the home. The furniture is almost all Arts & Crafts, which complements the architecture beautifully, and the most striking feature is certainly the living room’s massive boulder fireplace that’s topped with a patinated copper hood.
Asking $1.399 million and set on a 0.44-acre plot, the property includes the original carriage house with a studio apartment above, as well as a vintage trolley from Asheville’s electric streetcar days (1889-1937) that serves as an open-air pavilion. In all, there are eight bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms set in 3,792 square feet. Listing agents are Broker Asheville at Keller Williams.
The house is currently owned by a prominent Asheville criminal lawyer, Sean Devereux, but it was originally built as part of Asheville’s Meriwether estate. In the 1950s, the property became a boarding house/summer lodgings called The Sherwood Inn. There are still the remnants of room numbers on the bedroom doors, and several old signs from the inn days will convey to the new owner.
Richard Sharp Smith, the house’s architect, trained in England. He came to New York and joined Richard Morris Hunt’s office in 1886. Just two years later, American aristocrat George Vanderbilt visited Asheville and was captivated by the area’s natural beauty. (His mother, who had tuberculosis, was a patient in one of the many sanitaria, the climate being considered perfect for treatment of TB.) Vanderbilt purchased 125,000 acres of woodlands around Asheville to create a country home. He hired Richard Morris Hunt to build him a by-every-account palatial 250-room house, now famous as the Biltmore Estate, and Richard Sharp Smith became the Biltmore Estate’s supervising architect, overseeing the construction of many of the Vanderbilts’ buildings.
Smith also designed many local homes and institutions. He started his own firm in Asheville and when he died in 1924, the Asheville Citizen wrote, “After long years of residence in Asheville, Smith has done more than any other person to beautify the city. He came to Asheville just at a time when he was needed, and was really a pioneer architect in the community…“ This lovely house is a testament to his skill as an architect and his love for Asheville, his adopted home.