Smith-McDowell House Museum, Asheville

4.0
#12 of 17 in Museums in Asheville
The Smith-McDowell House is located in Asheville, North Carolina. It is the city's first mansion and oldest surviving house, and the oldest brick structure in Buncombe County.The house was constructed in the 1840s for James McConnell Smith. His daughter Sarah Smith-McDowell and her husband, William Wallace McDowell bought the house after her parents died. It is a blend of architectural styles dating from its original 1840 construction and additions completed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The floor plan is typical of Adam style, better known as Federal style in America.It is a double-pile plan, Flemish bond, five-bay mansion that features a double-tier porch semi-engaged beneath an extension of its gable roof. Each three-bay end wall has a pair of interior chimneys. The brick walls are 12 to 20 inches thick. The original Federal character that dominated the house's exterior remains in the large fanlights above the front doors and in the delicacy of the front porch that is supported by twelve slender fluted columns (six on each level). The house has corbelled cornices that feature dentils. The exterior of the building at one time displayed penciling, and remnants remain in several spots. Although much of the dwelling's original Greek Revival interior woodwork was replaced during a Neoclassical style remodeling in 1913, the second floor's mantels, window frames, and door frames are original, dating from the 1840s. A one-story semicircular sunroom was added to the southern end wall in the late 1880s.
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Smith-McDowell House Museum Reviews
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Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Visited this museum per the encouragement of some colleagues and wasn't disappointed. The museum is host to a lot of local history and an example of one of the area;s finest brick homes of the period....  more »
  • Interesting place to walk thru and learn some of the history of Asheville. We went at Christmas and it looked very pretty.  more »
  • Decided to stop in on the way home for a self-guided quick tour (per the brochure).However an hour and a half later, we finished with a one on one guided tour that took us to each room and explained t...  more »
Google
  • Much smaller than Biltmore but pretty. Docent was very knowledgeable
  • Staff was knowledgeable, but not a lot to see. Still a nice historical stop.
  • If you are a historian-visit here!!!
  • A beautifully restored 1840's house showing how the super rich lived during the last half of the 1800's. Beautiful antique furniture, china, and other house furnishings, Great historical descriptions of life prior, during, and after the civil war in a part of the south which did not actually have any battles. No demonstrators, or even the facility to have them, at this time.
  • My husband wanted to tour the house on his birthday and after entering we watched a quick video. Then Sharon took us on a facinating tour. She is so very knowledgeable and passionate about the house it was contagious!!!

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Where to stay in Asheville

To take advantage of the best Asheville has to offer without breaking the bank, stay at one of the city's small motels, many of which offer free breakfast buffets and plenty of secure parking. Asheville's historical district contains most of the city's bed and breakfasts, allowing you to stay within a short walk of downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment. The area also boasts numerous budget-friendly hostels, offering inexpensive private rooms for backpackers. For something completely different, rent an eco-friendly cabin in a wooded area just a short drive from the city.
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