Sunday, January 8, 2012


The Grove Park Inn, which overlooks downtown Asheville, North Carolina, opened in 1913. A stellar example of the Arts and Crafts style, its design is rooted in a possibly-mythical past, when handcrafts were celebrated. The Inn's rustic, unfussy architecture, based in part on folk traditions, was radical for its time. I looked up at the western facade, cobbled with massive granite stones and crowned by an amazing roof. Red tiles undulate in gentle ripples, up and over the dormers, draping over the edges like a tablecloth. It evoked visions of thatched roofs in medieval-era villages and of homes for hobbits. Perhaps one day I can sit and look out from one of those windows protected by that rippled roofline.