To purchase a print of this drawing by author/artist
Lee Pantas, visit
Cherry Orchard Studio
Hendersonville, while in existence as early as 1841, did not reach its peak of
development until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The boom started in
1879 when the railroad arrived and commercial development expanded greatly, both
in the downtown Main Street area and in the district around the railroad depot.
The influx of tourists at that time greatly increased and this in turn spurred
the building of resort hotels and boarding houses, as well as fine residential
homes for those tourists who decided to stay in Hendersonville. This building
and development continued into the early 20th century but stopped abruptly in
1929 with the advent of the Great Depression.
During the early years of development, two individuals, W.F. Edwards and Erle G.
Stilwell had major influence on the shape and character of Hendersonville.
Edwards was a builder, and was responsible for the construction of many
important commercial and residential buildings, including the early Town Hall
and Opera House which stood on Main from 1893 to the 1920s, the Neo-¬Classical
People’s Bank at 225-231 North Main Street and the historic Henderson County
Courthouse. Stilwell was an architect who had considerable influence on the
shape of municipal, religious and commercial architecture in Hendersonville by
bringing a new level of sophistication and competence to the local architecture.
Among his important works were the Hendersonville High School, City Hall and the
Citizens National Bank.
The face of domestic architecture was changed significantly
with the arrival of the railroad. The industrial growth that the railroads
brought also resulted in fine homes being built in the Queen Anne, Eastlake,
Colonial Revival and Neo-Classical styles to house the wealthy industrialists.
Today, in modern Hendersonville, many of these remaining significant residential
properties in downtown have survived and continue to grace the city with their
In this chapter, a selection of important historic buildings and structures will
be presented, both as part of the two major downtown historic districts; Main
Street and the 7th Avenue Depot area, and as separate structures not part of any
designated historic district.
As in the chapter on Historic Asheville, certain abbreviations will be used to
signify buildings of historical importance. NRHP indicates the structure is
listed in the National Register of Historic Places, NHL indicates a National
Historic Landmark property and LHL means the building is a Local Historic
Landmark. Discussion of these designations is given in depth in the Historic
Historic Preservation Society is instrumental in the preservation and
restoration of historic properties. They are a valuable resource for anyone
interested in historic Hendersonville. The Preservation Society may be reached
by calling the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society offices at
828-693-1531, also an excellent historical resource. They are located at 400 North
Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
Historic Districts of Hendersonville
Other Historic Sites
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