America’s first indoor shopping mall still exists in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. It was conceived by selfmade millionaire E.M. Grove who envisioned this attraction as a means to invigorate the city’s downtown district.
Grove actually died in 1927, two years before his 267,000 square foot dream was completed. When it opened in 1929, original tenants included a beauty shop, cigar stand, a haberdashery, candy stalls, booksellers and office space.
It continues to serve as a gathering place with restaurants, shops, an art gallery and residences. In fact, it was a happening place when we were there!
The light is lovely, the architecture amazing, and we found some nice shops. My friend was most interested in one store that sold locally made arts and crafts but I was most taken with this shop that sells handmade hats and yarn.
The old phone booths are free of phones but serve as a hub for an ATM and facility information.
Here’s one more look at that gorgeous ceiling.
Want more information? Find a directory and full history here. Tomorrow I will tell you about the amazing bookstore we found!