Tips on Activities and Attractions

Grove Arcade Area

The area around the Grove Arcade has probably changed the most since Edwin Wiley Grove (1850-1927) purchased the property in 1920.

It is here, where the realization of his grand vision of transforming Asheville from a mountain town to a major tourist destination can best be seen.

The area, where the Grove Arcade stands today, once was an 80-foot hill with a beautiful Queen-Anne style wooden hotel for the rich, called The Battery Park Hotel. It was from the porches of this hotel that George Vanderbilt once “resolved to make his home in the Land of the Sky.”

Soon after Grove purchased the property in 1920, it burnt down.

Seizing the opportunity, he started immediately to level the hill by removing up to 500,000 cubic yards of earth, a massive earth-moving project even by today’s standards. It took 21 months to complete the project, which resulted in a gently sloped area.

While the excavation was still ongoing, the new 14-story Battery Park Hotel was built, which opened in September 1924.

A 5-story retail center with a 14-story tower, the Grove Arcade, followed in 1926.

When Edwin Grove died in 1927, the base of the Grove Arcade was completed, covering an area of 269,000 square feet. Although the 14-story tower and the two remaining floors were never built, the Grove Arcade opened in 1929, offering a “fine collection of local shops and services.”

Over the years, the Grove Arcade became increasingly popular with over 70 shops at its peak.

To this day, the area around the Grove Arcade is a magnet for stores, galleries, restaurants, and bars.