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Valley History Explorer Hike #2: Leader’s Choice (Guastavino)

April 18 @ 9:00 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.

Difficulty: Moderate, 2 miles

Meet: 9:00 AM at the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W. State Street, Black Mountain
Estimated Return Time: 12:30 PM

Note: This hike is part of a series, which goes on sale January 2, 2020. To be added to the waitlist for this individual hike, please email svmhikes@gmail.com. A space may open up for this hike if a full series hiker cancels their registration.


April 18
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center
223 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
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