It may not be obvious up close, but you’re looking at additional roof tiles from the Asheville City Building. You can see it in the distance to the east from the Museum’s Perspective Café. Designed in 1926, it was completed in 1928 at the height of the Art Deco style in America. The roof is in a popular shape of the time, called a ziggurat, but it also echoes the mountains behind the building. Ellington was inspired by the history and natural beauty around Asheville when he conceived of this building. The colors of the brick reflect the soil of the area, the stylized feathers represent the Cherokee heritage of this land, and the yellow leaf-like forms on the larger tile are likely to represent the local rhododendron plant.
Today may be the 92nd anniversary of the Asheville City Building’s opening, but it’s our 19th year of having these beautiful tiles in our Collection. When the café is open again, be sure to come up and check out the beautiful view of the building and our tiles.