Albemarle Park

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Asheville, NC
United States
Albemarle Park

Known in later years as The Manor and Cottages, the 1898 picturesque resort development by railroad magnate William Green Raoul significantly advanced Asheville as a destination city during America’s Gilded Age. Reflective of Asheville’s southern Appalachian terrain, this 32-acre tract of rugged mountain land averaged a 20 percent slope, rising 300 hundred feet from front to back. Its defining natural feature is the prominent ridge running along the length of the property, flanked on both sides by dramatic ravines providing panoramic views to the Sunset and Beaucatcher mountains. The plan was overseen by landscape architect Samuel Parsons Jr., who had extensive experience with steeply graded sites in such New York City parks as Riverside and Morningside. Parsons found the site to a be a challenge, offering him opportunity to incorporate its rugged terrain, sweeping vistas, native stands of trees, and woodland vegetation as character defining features. Conceived in the picturesque style, the plan reinforced the unique natural and dramatic qualities of the landscape to establish a residential park, that Parsons referred to as a “homestead park.”