Vacant building collapses on Carolina Lane, no injuries ***UPDATED 4:15 p.m.***

Police cars and fire trucks blocked off Walnut Street downtown this afternoon after the collapse of of a building at 15 Carolina Lane. Workers were already in the process of demolishing the building before the collapse, and no one was injured.

The two-story structure was built in 1917, and was last used as apartments, Asheville Fire Department spokesperson Kelley Klope told Xpress.

“Apparently it’s been vacant for awhile. There were two people involved in the demolition, but they’re accounted for,” Klope said. She later clarified that the two contractors thought to be on scene “had actually not been at this location for several days.”

“It came down inward,” she noted, and the AFD doesn’t believe any nearby buildings are in danger, though they’re still examining the extent of the damage, and the immediate area remains unsafe.

As a precaution, the fire department evacuated some nearby buildings.

The property was leased to the nearby Bouchon restaurant, owned by Dawn Lantzias, and managed by Leslie and Associates. Tom Leslie, the company’s president, says the D.H. Griffin construction company will work overnight to clear debris and resolve the safety issues, including a remaining wall that the AFD is concerned about.

“They’re coming in right now and they’ll have the site secure and safe by the morning,” Leslie says. “I’m not sure what exactly, if anything, had been done to the building precipitating the collapse.”

In general buildings in the area are “built very well. Here there was a good roof-truss system,” Leslie says. “It’s very unusual and unfortunate.” Bouchon, he notes, was planning to use the site for a catering and event space.

View of the collapsed building from the courtyard behind Scully’s. Photo by Jake Frankel

View of the collapsed building from above 5 Walnut. Photo by Elizabeth Ewing

Asheville Fire Department block off Carolina Lane. Photo by David Forbes

Police and fire vehicles block off Walnut Street. Photo by David Forbes


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3 thoughts on “Vacant building collapses on Carolina Lane, no injuries ***UPDATED 4:15 p.m.***

  1. Foto-Jennic

    From a local history point of view, the loss this old building is actually tragic.

    The building once housed the Asheville Postcard Company, which greatly influenced our town’s history as a tourist destination – especially during the tumultuous times of the Great Depression.

    For more history on The Asheville Postcard company that lived in this space for many decades, read here:

    a digital collection of the postcards made here exists through the Ramsey Library at UNC-A:

  2. Jon Elliston

    I believe that the Asheville Postcard Company was actually at 31 Carolina Lane — that building is still there, right?

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