The Asheville Art Museum has occupied a number of spaces over the years. Each move followed growth in visitor numbers and the need to be more accessible to the communities the museum serves, Executive Director Pam Myers says.
After humble beginnings in the 1950s in an unheated, three-room office on Charlotte Street, the museum soon moved to space on the 15th floor of what is now the Arras Hotel and Residences on the west side of Pack Square. From there, the museum bounced to Montford and then the basement of the Civic Center (now the U.S. Cellular Center).
During the 1980s, downtown advocate and philanthropist Roger McGuire, along with a team of volunteers known as the Pack Rats, conceived the Pack Place Education, Arts and Science Center as a vibrant cultural institution to revitalize a flagging city.
The team assembled funding from the city, Buncombe County and a capital campaign; real estate investors donated land on Pack Square to the city. When the new facility opened on July 4, 1992, the art museum occupied 12,000 square feet. In 2000 and 2012, the museum expanded twice more within Pack Place.