Dr. Carl V. Reynolds House
When Proximity Park was slated for development in 1907, Asheville's well-to-do lined up, though few moved faster than Dr. Carl Von Reynolds. Within two years, his vision of neoclassical grandeur stood an imposing 2.5 porticoed stories. Reynolds' home still stands today as the picturesque Albermarle Inn. The home is one of the most well known examples of historic architecture from Asheville's Neoclassical Revival era. Before its role as a bed and breakfast, however, Dr. Reynolds lived here as he rose to become an important figure in North Carolina's public health history. Before its conversion to the Albermarle Inn, the house also functioned as a center for creative arts education.
Backstory and Context
After first serving as Asheville's city health officer, Reynolds made his greatest impact as a state health officer. While serving as Secretary of the State Board of Health, Reynolds acted as a key author in a landmark report that re-envisioned the role of the state in public health. Indeed, the forward thinking ideas proposed in this 1945 report by the North Carolina Hospital and Medical Care Commission to the General Assembly foreshadowed the now widely held belief that the state holds a civic duty to ensure the well being of its citizenry through coordinated public health programs.2
While the 1940s saw Reynolds making waves in public heath, his Proximity Park home was over two decades in his past; in 1920, he sold the home to the Grove Park School. With the addition of a school building next to the original structure, the Reynolds House enjoyed two decades of renown as a home to the Plonk School of Creative Arts.
It was in 1941 that the house was transformed into its current state as the Albermarle Inn. Yet the Inn and the creative arts still mixed. It was here, after all, that Hungarian composer Bela Bartok was inspired to complete his Asheville Concerto (formally known as Third Concerto for Piano).3 After over a century, the Reynolds House still stands as a testament to its neoclassical revival birth, and the Albermarle Inn has stayed true to its architectural heritage.
2"A Message of Great Hope, of Almost Infinite Promise, and Yet of Great Practicability," Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill, accessed February 18, 2017, https://hsl.lib.unc.edu/gillings/state-history-3
3"Dr. Carl V. Reynolds House," National Register of Historic Places, accessed February 18, 2017, https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/asheville/drc.htm
"Inn History," Albermarle Inn, accessed February 18, 2017, http://www.albemarleinn.com/history.htm