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View of the Battery Park Hotel

Photo courtesy of City Development, City of Asheville, North Carolina

The 14-story Battery Park Hotel stands as an architectural and historic monument to Asheville's tourism and development boom of the 1920s. The hotel was erected in 1924 by Edwin W. Grove "as a capstone of his excavation and leveling of Battery Porter Hill." The new hotel replaced a previous Queen Anne style hotel of the same name that was constructed in 1886 (pictured in the graphic at the top of the page). Local folklore states that from the porch of the original Battery Park Hotel, George Vanderbilt first gazed on the towering peaks and lands that he resolved to purchase and make his home.

The hotel designed by W. L. Stoddard of New York, was built with reinforced concrete, faced with brick, limestone and terra cotta trim with a Mission Revival style roof. The design of the Battery Park Hotel is representative of eclectic 1920s hotel architecture. Thomas Wolfe, author and native son, decried the brick hotel's accented style of Neoclassical and Spanish romanticism as "being stamped out of the same mold, as if by some gigantic biscuit-cutter of hotels that had produced a thousand others like it all over the country." Though critics missed the old hotel, the new 220-room hotel was designed to feature the very latest in modern conveniences. A roof dining area, lounge and open terraces provided breath-taking views of the city and surrounding mountain vistas.

[photo] Historic view of current Battery Park Hotel during site excavation for the Grove Arcade
Photo courtesy of William A. Barnhill Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, North Carolina

The hotel continued in operation until 1972. During the 1980s, the Asheville Housing Authority, a private developer, converted the old hotel into apartments for senior citizens. Today, Battery Park continues to stand as a sentinel over the downtown.

The Battery Park Hotel is located at 1 Battle Sq. at the corner of O. Henry St. The building houses businesses on the first level that are open during normal operating hours; upper level apartments are closed to the public.

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