Updated: April 2019
Shared Elevator, Shared Family Ties
The eight-story Westall Building was designed by Ronald Greene in 1923, during the same time when he architected the taller Jackson Building next door. Due to its small footprint, the Westall Building does not have its own elevator but shares the elevator with the neighboring Jackson Building. The space in both buildings had been designed from the start to work as one large office complex. As a real estate developer, L. B. Jackson managed both buildings.
Architecturally, the Westall Building uses a neo-Spanish Romanesque style with some English Norman design elements, which are visible at the double-arched frieze between the seventh and eighth floor.
William Harrison Westall
William Harrison Westall (1863-1944), the owner of the building, had a successful lumber company and delivered building materials to many construction sites in Asheville including → Biltmore House.
His older brother James Manassas Westall (1861-1943), was a renowned building contractor in Asheville. “During Asheville’s stunning growth period from the arrival of the Western North Carolina Railroad in the 1880s into the early 20th century, (...) James Westall along with several other skilled and ambitious builders, together with celebrated architects of the era, were essential to creating the city’s remarkable late 19th-century and early 20th-century architecture” (Catherine W. Bishir (2009)).
Unexpected Family Ties
William Westall was also the younger brother of Julia Elizabeth Westall (1860-1945), Thomas Wolfe’s mother. Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938) was a major American novelist, who wrote the famous book “Look Homeward, Angel” (1929). His mother’s boarding house has become The Thomas Wolfe Memorial, which is now an excellent museum.
Thomas Wolfe’s father, William Oliver Wolfe (1851-1922), had a tombstone business at precisely the location, where the Jackson Building stands today. By around 1918, William Wolfe’s health had deteriorated so much that he had to retire. Some sources report that he rented his shop out until he sold his property to the young real-estate developer Lynwood Baldwin “L. B.” Jackson (1896-1974) around the early 1920s, after which L. B. Jackson commissioned the construction of the Jackson Building.
20 South Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
STREET VIEWING ONLY.
Pack Square Parking Garage.
Public bus stop: Patton Ave at Biltmore Ave.
Stop Gray Line Historic Trolley: Pack Square.