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The history and legend of Asheville's 'Sky Club'

Ah, Asheville. A city that has captivated and enchanted visitors for well over a century now. With its fresh mountain air, stunning natural beauty, and rich history, it’s no wonder that people have flocked here for generations. But there’s one particular spot that has been the talk of the town for over a century - the Sky Club.

This legendary restaurant was perched high on Beaucatcher Mountain, providing awe-inspiring views of the city and Blue Ridge Mountains that surround it. People from all over the country came to experience the Sky Club’s world-renowned ambiance and cuisine. But to truly understand the Sky Club’s story, we must first take a step back in time.

Back in the 1800s, transportation was difficult and tuberculosis was rampant. Western North Carolina was deemed a haven for those struggling with the disease, and Asheville was the chosen city due to its excellent air quality and medical treatment facilities.

The city slowly grew, attracting visitors and residents alike, who sought to enjoy the city’s natural beauty and burgeoning arts scene.

One such couple from Chicago, Oliver and Katherine Hamilton, came in the hope of relief for Oliver’s failing health. They bought an existing home on Beaucatcher Mountain and named it “Ardmion”.

By 1910, Katherine’s leading role in Asheville’s music scene meant that they needed more space and they commissioned George Vanderbilt’s architect, Richard Sharpe Smith, to design a new “Ardmion” - Ashville’s first concrete residence.

Twenty-five years later Gus and Emma Adler, who had been running restaurants in East Asheville, bought the building and opened the “Old Heidelberg” - later to become famous as the Sky Club. The Adlers were renowned for their gracious hospitality and exceptional cuisine, and the restaurant soon became a hot spot for locals and tourists alike.

Over the years, the Sky Club played host to countless parties, galas and events, and even served as a filming location for Robert Mitchum’s “Thunder Road.” The likes of Grace Kelly and Susan Hayward dined on the terrace, enjoying the panoramic views of the city and mountains beyond. While the Sky Club eventually closed its doors, its legacy lives on.

In the 1980s the original building was beautifully restored and converted into luxury condominiums. Apartment 2 was carved out of the original first-floor dining room and dining terrace. It’s a fitting tribute to a legendary spot that added so much beauty and charm to Asheville’s history.

Asheville’s Sky Club may be no more, but its impact on the city remains. Residents and visitors can still take in the same breathtaking views that drew people to the Sky Club all those years ago, and the city’s arts and culinary scenes are as vibrant as ever. For those who experienced the Sky Club’s magic, it will always hold a special place in their hearts - and in Asheville’s vibrant history.

Experience a part of Asheville’s history. Be transported back in time, at the former Sky Club. The architectural design is from the early 1900s with a covered porch that remains the same.

Once inside the condo, all 21st century conveniences are a part of a 3 bedroom and 2-bathroom home with over 1700 heated square feet. The entrance, from the covered porch, is original, and this floor plan allows large gatherings from the main living area through French doors to the porch.

A magnificent wood fireplace mantel compliments the hardwood floors that are throughout this charming home. Other benefits are two car garage, lower-level storage area, in ground pool, and outdoor gathering spaces throughout the common area.

This home and gated community are a short distance from downtown Asheville, with Blue Ridge Mountain view and light from the city.

MLS #4016993 $1,325,000

Betsy Gudger

Elite Broker



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