City of Asheville releases first neighborhood profiles

From the city of Asheville:

Neighborhood profile: Five Points

This is the latest in a series of profiles highlighting the City of Asheville’s vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. The City of Asheville maintains a list of neighborhoods who have registered as official organizations. Each month we will invite one of these to tell you a little more about the place they call home. If you are not sure if your neighborhood is on our listing, please contact Neighborhood Coordinator Marsha Stickford at mstickford@ashevillenc.gov.
Name of group: Five Points Neighborhood Association
Formed when: Formed in the mid 1990s
Location: Five Points neighborhood is situated about a mile north of the city of Asheville. It sits between Merrimon Avenue and Broadway and continues north to North Street near UNC Asheville.

What qualities make your neighborhood unique?
Many of the houses are historic and beautiful wooden bungalows and craftsman 4 squares built between 1900 and 1925. The neighborhood is centrally located, and great for walking or biking into town, Montford, UNC Asheville, and local schools. We have sidewalks on most of our streets.

Who are the people that make up your neighborhood?
There is an eclectic mix of people living in Five Points–the neighbors generally know each other and help each other out. Some folks have lived in the neighborhood for generations, but now we are seeing more young families moving in, as well as recent retirees looking for a walkable neighborhood experience. We have professionals, craftsmen, teachers, professors, students, chefs, acupuncturists, health care workers, many artists, activists, musicians, photographers and fantastic gardeners.

What is some of your neighborhood’s history?
The neighborhood was one of the first bedroom communities in the City of Asheville. The streetcar service used to run up to Mt. Clare Avenue and end at Hillside, an area we call Little Five Points.
That is why that street is wider than any of the others. The estate of Mr. George Pack, of Pack Square fame in Asheville sat where the new Harris Teeter site sits today. The estate was called Many Oaks and there was a large mansion there with a grand stone wall encircling it. In the 1970s the building fell into disrepair and it was demolished. The neighborhood, like most of the city of Asheville went through a rough patch but began to revive again in the 1990s.

What role does your neighborhood play as part of Asheville’s community?
Our neighbors care deeply about local government, the environment, safety and helping Asheville to be a more progressive city. We are a vocal group of concerned citizens. We have worked closely with the city, helping government understand our needs and concerns, most recently regarding the highway business zoning of the Harris Teeter site. Also, there is a program going on to help solarize Asheville neighborhoods. Many of our neighbors in Five Points will be incorporating solar power into their homes in the coming months. There is also talk of a community garden.
What are some of the things you look forward to in the future of your neighborhood?
We look forward to traffic calming on some of our streets because of new development on Merrimon. We have concerns about cut through traffic and congestion on our very narrow city streets. We have been working closely with the city’s traffic department to facilitate this. We’d like to see sidewalks on streets that are lacking them. Graffiti is also problem in our neighborhood; we’d like to see less of it, and possibly more art in its place.

Name something that you would like to see to make your neighborhood better.
We would like a good buffer between the Harris Teeter site and the neighborhood homes, safe streets without fear of speeding cars and cut through traffic. Less graffiti and more gardens and art, more block parties, pot luck dinners, preservation of houses and good neighbors.

Neighborhood profile: West End/Clingman Avenue

This is the first in a series of profiles highlighting the City of Asheville’s vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. The City of Asheville maintains a list of neighborhoods who have registered as official organizations. Each month we will invite one of these to tell you a little more about the place they call home. If you are not sure if your neighborhood is on our listing, please contact Neighborhood Coordinator Marsha Stickford at mstickford@ashevillenc.gov.
West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood, Inc. Formed, November 1998
Answers provided by the WECAN Board of Directors

What qualities make your neighborhood unique?
WECAN is one of Asheville’s oldest neighborhoods. Located at the West end of downtown, it overlooks the French Broad River. It is accessed by the interstate, state and city roads and is intersected by the railroad. WECAN is a short walk from Aston Park, Jean Webb Park and Owens-Bell Park, Isaac Dickson Elementary School, Asheville Middle School and the YWCA. It contains a significant portion of unused DOT right of way land, and is home to several National Register Historic buildings. WECAN has a logo, a neighborhood sign, and is incorporated as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. We maintain two gardens and have performed Adopt-A-Highway cleanups for 15 years.

Who are the people that make up your neighborhood?
WECAN is made up of a collection of races, ages, and incomes. We are retirees, singles, families and children. We are artists, bicyclists, urban farmers, bee keepers, pet lovers, new-comers and long time residents. We are people who care about our neighbors and where we live.

Describe some of your neighborhood’s history.
People began settling in WECAN in the 1890’s with the coming of the railroad and cotton mills. The first half of the twentieth century saw a boom in housing as the city grew. The 1916 flood, the end of rail and trolley service, the closing of the mills and major highway projects all took their toll on the neighborhood. The second half of the 20th Century saw a period of neglect until the dramatic 1995 Cotton Mill fire shone a spotlight on the area. Soon the city produced the West End/Clingman Avenue Asheville 2010 plan. One thing the plan called for was the formation of the neighborhood organization, which has met monthly since 1998. Since then, WECAN residents have been involved in many planning projects including a Citizens Master Plan. We have seen new infill development, a new park, neighborhood cleanups, some new sidewalks, new LED lighting. We produced a history exhibit, a video, an annual newsletter, public art and, in the last year, WECAN welcomed four babies.

What role does your neighborhood play as part of Asheville’s community?
We are a microcosm of the greater city. We share the same concerns as other neighborhoods, such as gentrification, traffic, taxes, crime, encroaching commercial development, affordability, communication, preservation, prostitution, density, development, homelessness, drug abuse, and infrastructure issues.

What are some of the things you look forward to in the future of your neighborhood?
The neighborhood will feel the impact of several projects in the coming years such as the New Belgium Brewery, traffic realignment on Riverside Drive, new residential development at 100 Park Avenue, mixed use development at the old Dave Steel site, a new greenway in the forest behind the east side of Clingman Avenue, the I-26 Connector and new development in the River Arts District.

Name some things that you would like to see to make your neighborhood better.
A respect for the history of the neighborhood, more affordable housing, a partnership with DOT for a community garden on unused land, a grocery store, sidewalks on Roberts street between the traffic circle and the White Duck, and more neighborhood participation.


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0 thoughts on “City of Asheville releases first neighborhood profiles

  1. boatrocker

    Great, now they’re profiling neighborhoods too. Will each neighborhood be stopped and frisked if their pants sag?

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