Preserving Our Past — and Our Future


We have now officially completed Week One of our four-week virtual 34th National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows, and everyone seems pleased with the opportunity to continue learning even more about the Arts and Crafts movement during our Covid year — and to see and talk to our Arts and Crafts friends via Zoom.

And for any of you who have not yet registered for the conference, rest assured, you can watch any seminars, tours, demonstrations, or discussions you missed on our Video On Demand page, as we record nearly all of them for posterity.

Registration is easy at our online form, available at, where you can see the packed schedule for every day of the remainder of February. We keep adding even more events!

Near the close of our discussion on the Arts and Crafts philosophy, five-year attendee Allan Hazard took a few moments to urge everyone to support your local Preservation Society, as several attendees lamented how many bungalows across the country are being demolished to make room for modern, boring structures.

Here in Asheville, our Preservation Society is battling a Goliath development company determined to tear down 13 century-old houses in a National Register of Historic Places neighborhood in order to build a combination of apartments, offices, and retail space not far from the Grove Park Inn. At least one house slated for demolition was designed by noted Arts and Crafts architect Richard Sharpe Smith, who also designed Asheville’s historic c.1900 Arts and Crafts Biltmore Village.


Dogwood Cottage (1910) exhibits classic Arts and Crafts construction details, including shingle siding and rustic beams harvested from the adjacent hillside. It, too, features Arts and Crafts furnishings and lighting.


As an important fundraiser, each year the Asheville Preservation Society organizes a house tour via bus for our Arts and Crafts Conference. Undeterred by the Covid restrictions, the Preservation Society, of which I am a board member, has video-taped a 40-minute tour of three unique, century-old homes of interest to us, all of which we could not easily access by bus during an in-person conference.


The 1902 Sondley House was designed by Richard Sharpe Smith and features an extensive collection of Arts and Crafts antiques and new works purchased at the National Arts and Crafts Conference.


As you would expect, these video tours are not inexpensive to produce, so I am making a personal plea that you go to and sign up for the Arts & Crafts House Tours. The cost is just a $25 tax-deductible donation, and you can watch them at any time between February 12 and March 15. You do not have to be registered for the conference to enjoy the house tours and to support the Preservation Society in our battle against these insensitive urban developers.


Possum Trot Cottage dates back to 1913, when it was built on Sunset Mountain, not far from the Grove Park Inn, which opened the same year.


In addition, if you are one of the first 25 people to sign up for the Preservation House Tours, I will personally inscribe and mail to you a free copy of my latest book, “Tom, Scott & Zelda:  Following In Their Footsteps.” My book traces the history of authors Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe during their years in Asheville and Western North Carolina.



I hope you will take this opportunity to view from your home the exterior and interiors of these three unique Arts and Crafts homes. You will also play a vital role in helping the Asheville Preservation Society defeat a developer’s plan to demolish 13 historic houses you pass by on Charlotte Street on your way to the Grove Park Inn.


Until next week,


“In the end, we will be defined not only by what we create, but what we refuse to destroy.” – John Sawhill