When I was young, I wanted to be an architect. Now, half a century later, I’m still fascinated by great architecture.
Built by developer Lynwood B. Jackson and architect Ronald Greene, the Neo-Gothic Jackson Building is a fascinating structure. Jackson had purchased a small 27-by-60 foot lot on Pack Square previously owned Tobias Wolfe, father of Asheville’s favorite son, author Thomas Wolfe. The lot was considered too small for a skyscraper, but Jackson didn’t let that stop him. He instructed architect Greene to build the tallest building possible and to “go nuts at the top.” Greene succeeded on both points.
The thirteen story structure holds the record as the world’s tallest building on the smallest lot. What initially attracted me to the building was its ornate top. The tower at the top, with its spires, seems more suited to a cathedral than a skyscraper, but it works. Then there are the four grotesques that jut out from the buildings top corners. It’s a fascinating building.
Interestingly, the eight-story building next to the Jackson Building, also built by Lynwood Jackson, was too small for an elevator. Because of this, the Westall Building shares an elevator with its taller neighbor.
There are so many interesting aspects to the little city of Asheville that it keeps me coming back. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.