By Natasha Anderson
The first time John and Ann Campbell saw the building at 52 Broadway Street in Asheville they knew they had an opportunity to do something special. Massive brick walls, wooden beams, large windows, bright spaces and just the right scale provided the ideal location for an art gallery and arts-focused hotel. After purchasing the building in 2018 and completing an extensive renovation, they opened Elevation Lofts in 2021.
“From the beginning, we challenged our design team to enable a hotel travel experience that was off-the-charts amazing,” says John Campbell. “One that would blend the historic structure with a thoroughly modern and luxurious interior.”
Constructed in 1913, 52 Broadway Street was home to numerous auto dealerships through the 1940s. In 1944, Farmer’s Federation, the region’s primary organized agricultural cooperative, moved into the building and stayed until the 1960s. After that, the building served as retail and residential space and eventually fell into disrepair. It is part of the National Register Historic District in downtown Asheville.
“It was, and is, our top priority to preserve the history of the building,” says Ann Campbell. “But we also knew that the space needed a thorough renovation. That meant providing world-class finishes, full kitchens, fireplaces, spacious living areas and every amenity imaginable.”
The result is a meticulously updated historic shell with a completely modern and extremely comfortable art gallery and living space, all created while preserving and making visible the building’s materials, including the original brick and timber framing. The completed project received a Griffin Award from the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County for its outstanding contribution to historic preservation and a Historic Preservation Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Each of the six units features soaring ceilings, hardwood floors on the main level, gas fireplaces, custom walnut cabinetry and two to four bedrooms. Artwork in the common areas and individual units has been curated and installed by Momentum Gallery, a 15,000-square-foot contemporary art gallery that occupies the building’s first two floors.
“Synergy between the hotel and Momentum Gallery was (during the design process) and continues to be (in the operation of the hotel) an essential part of the project,” says Charles Krekelberg, designer, planner and project manager for Samsel Architects, who, along with Falcon Construction and Alchemy Design Studio, completed the project. “The lofts provide a residential setting for the various art pieces on display.”
In addition to Momentum Gallery downstairs, Elevation Lofts is within walking distance of the Asheville Art Museum, the Center for Craft and more than 25 other art galleries. An abundance of restaurants, craft breweries, specialty coffee, tea and chocolate shops, and live music venues are also nearby.
To learn more or to make reservations, visit ElevationLoftsHotel.com.