Eleven Bronze Sculpture Dot the Urban Trail Walking Tour in Asheville

Visitors can explore reminders of Asheville’s unique history on the city’s Urban Trail Walking Tour.  While touring, visitors will notice at least 11 bronze public art pieces created by talented University of North Carolina at Asheville students along this 30-stop tour.

  • Stepping Out: features a bronze top hat, cane, and gloves to represent the theaters and Grand Opera House that were the center of commerce and culture in early 20th century Asheville.
  • Henry: bronze representations of the famous symbols in the Christmas tale, “The Gifts of the Magi” by Asheville resident and literary legend O. Henry.
  • Historic Hilltop: shows a bronze guest book that notes the famous signatures (including George W. Vanderbilt in 1888, owner of the Biltmore Estate) of those who stayed at the Old Battery Park Hotel. A tall, brick, building, now a seniors residence, rose on the site after the former building was destroyed by fire. The hill was named Battery Hill because of a battery of guns placed atop it during The Civil War.
  • Appalachian Stage: presents a bronze fiddle and quilt on a bench while five bronze figures of dancers and musicians celebrate Appalachian culture in the Asheville community. In 1927, the first annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival occurred and it continues the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in August.
  • Marketplace: features a bronze bonnet and a basket of apples rest on a bench as they might have in the 1800’s since the buildings housed produce markets and the doors were large enough to accommodate a horse and wagon.
  • Wolfe’s Neighborhood: presents 8 small bronze buildings that are replicas of structures author Thomas Wolfe would have known. Unfortunately, 7 of the 8 are no longer part of the Asheville landscape.
  • Dixieland: a bronze replica of Wolfe’s shoes that are in front of his mother’s famous boarding house. During Wolfe’s lifetime, the area’s streets were lined with graceful Queen Anne-style houses such as the Old Kentucky Home, which Wolfe referred to as “Dixieland” in his novels.
  • Past and Promise: Asheville’s little bronze girl (Childhood) drinks at a replica of a horsehead fountain on a glass lamp post that once stood on the square.
  • Monument Corner: displays bronze carving tools and a carving in progress to represent W.O. Wolfe’s tombstone shop, which stood where the also historic Jackson Building (1924) now rises.
  • The Block: a bronze wall that praises the African-American community and business center. This work was founded on the collective memories of former residents who recalled the days when Eagle Street was a place to go shopping or meet friends after school.
  • Hotel District: shows a bronze eagle overlooking an early hotel district. It is like an earlier one that once stood as high as the second gallery of the Eagle Hotel, the first grand hotel in downtown Asheville.

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