“The downtown business district of Asheville is riveting with exciting things to see and do.”
In the mid-1920s, disputes between city and county officials, as well as the general public, haunted the project to construct a unified civic center.
Across the nation and in Western North Carolina, people are being held in jail for days, weeks, even months awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges, because they can’t raise the cash to get out. That, in turn, can lead to job loss and homelessness. Some attorneys now argue that this is tantamount to debtors prison, which is unconstitutional.
Pack Square lies at the center of Asheville’s sense of itself as a city, but recent attention to the area — and the monuments to Confederate figures located there — has highlighted a curious anomaly of history and law: No one can say for sure who owns the piece of land where the Vance Monument sits.
The Tuesday, May 5 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting might be one for the books, as the board will discuss a new art, culture and history project that may result in the addition of a new landmark on the horizon. The board will discuss this, as well as a few environmental interests.
This year, both Asheville City Hall and the Buncombe County Courthouse turn 85. The two classic buildings are both undergoing renovation or expansion, part of an effort to keep them a center of civic life for the next 85 years. A look at their history, their future, and the end of the old feud that created them. Photos by Max Cooper.