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The Architectural History of Kenilworth

The Architectural History of Kenilworth

Photo by Jim Cavener

Kenilworth Architecture Offers a Historical Buffet

The Roaring ’20s brought more than cultural and economic vibrancy to America. The period also ushered in an architectural boom in many beloved cities and neighborhoods, including Asheville’s own Kenilworth. A slideshow presentation, The Architectural History of Kenilworth, will be given at the Kenilworth Center on Wednesday, November 9, at 5:30 p.m. by the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Bordered by Mission Hospital to the north, Biltmore Avenue to the west, Tunnel Road to the east and Swannanoa River Road to the south, the neighborhood mingles contemporary designs with farmhouses and log cabins, says Jack W.L. Thomson, executive director.

Many residential styles grace the winding, hilly streets of Kenilworth and are the product of a post-WWI architectural boom, according to resident James Cavener, who will lead the talk. Tudor and Norman cottages, Colonial Revivals, Wright-inspired prairie homes and various forms of Craftsman bungalows give the area its distinct character.

“The First World War was the first time that large numbers of young middle- and upper-middle-class men had been conscripted and sent off to Europe,” says Cavener, a society board member and former journalist, “and they returned having seen—and been attracted to—Cotswold cottages and Tudor and Norman design in Britain and France, and even Germany, Switzerland and Austria.”

More than 20 homes in the neighborhood classify as Tudor–Norman cottages, built largely between 1922 and 1929. “I believe that [this style] was a combination of the folks who were attracted to the area and their own diverse tastes,” Thomson says.

The Kenilworth Center is located at 4 Chiles Avenue, Asheville. A $10 donation to the Preservation Society is encouraged. For more information, visit

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