Richard Sharp Smith is well known for popularizing English arts-and-crafts architecture throughout Western North Carolina and beyond. An English immigrant, having worked at some of the most significant American architectural firms of the early 20th century, Smith arrived in Asheville in 1889 to supervise the construction of the Biltmore Estate on behalf of New York architect Richard Morris Hunt. Smith chose to remain in Asheville after the Biltmore’s completion and would go on to design hundreds of structures throughout North Carolina, with many of these projects constituting important elements of our region’s historic architecture.
Cottage for Miss Minnie Alexander was commissioned in 1904 by the wife of a jeweler and is one of several Smith structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Of note is the “roughcast” that covers parts of the building’s exterior, called “pebbledash” locally. It is a concrete-aggregate coating that was popularized by Smith and is seen regionally in many other arts and crafts structures. This building also sits close to Asheville’s downtown area and is one of the few remaining residential structures that still exists along Patton Avenue. Broadly, this building, and the architectural drawings which document its construction, connect us to the history that has shaped present day life in Asheville and western North Carolina.
This architectural drawing, and the more than four thousand other Richard Sharp Smith drawings like it at the Asheville Art Museum, is currently being stewarded and digitized with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
For individuals wishing to view parts of this collection, please direct questions and requests to our Architectural Project Registrar, Kain Brauneis (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information.