Valley History Explorer Hike #2: Leader’s Choice (Guastavino)
November 14 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Details: Join us as we explore the ruins of the “Spanish Castle,” the estate of architect Rafael Guastavino, just south of Black Mountain. Examples of the internationally renowned architect’s craftsmanship grace many of America’s most famous Beaux-Arts landmarks, including the Boston Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, Grant’s Tomb, the Great Hall at Ellis Island, Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian, and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the Biltmore Estate and Basilica of Saint Lawrence in Asheville. His home in Black Mountain was a ramshackle three-story white-washed wooden house with a central bell tower. Through grander than local farmhouses, the house did not exhibit the cohesive construction technology that made the architect famous. Locals called the house the “Spanish Castle.” Guastavino did employ tile vaulting in the construction of a hillside wine cellar. He made cider from apple trees on the property. He had special bottles made, embossed with the estate’s name, and shipped cases of cider to friends and family during the holidays. Today, we see inside the wine cellar and see the remnants of the kiln where Guastavino fired his famous tiles. An optional hike to a small cemetery will complete the event.
Note: This event has been split into two different hike times- 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30pm in order to adhere social distancing and group gathering guidelines for the state of North Carolina.
Difficulty: Moderate, 2 miles
UPDATE: In order to follow state regulations concerning the coronavirus, the Swannanoa Valley Museum has created new guidelines for its 2020 hikes. These guidelines and the 2020 hike schedule, will continue to evolve as the COVID situation changes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
New hike guidelines:
- Sign-ins will be conducted outdoors, at the parking lot of the Black Mountain Savings Bank.
- There will be no carpooling, no pickup truck / driver shuttles, and a new limited hike size. All the series hikes have been redesigned to be either be out/back or loop hikes and the museum discourages any carpooling to the trailheads, unless with family members or trusted friends.
- No one exhibiting symptoms will be allowed on the hikes.
- Hikes are limited to 25 hikers (20 hikers plus leaders).
- SVM will not shuttle drivers in cars or pickup trucks as in the past.
- Hikers will be required to bring a mask. Masks should be worn at the sign-in / registration table and at any time hikers are in a close group, such as at trailheads, history talks, or rest breaks.
- Social distancing requested on the trails.
- Series hikers have the opportunity to make up these hikes at any time in the future. If hikers do not feel comfortable taking part in hikes in 2020, this is more than understandable.
Note: This hike is part of a series, which goes on sale January 2, 2020. Hikers who wish to register for individual hikes may add their name to the waitlist by sending an email to email@example.com. Additional spaces for individual hikers on the waitlist may open up if a full series hiker cancels their registration.