To purchase a print of this drawing by author/artist
Lee Pantas, visit
Cherry Orchard Studio
This district will be presented in the form of a self-guided walking tour. The
best place to start is to park at the Hendersonville and Flat Rock Area Visitors
Information Center located at 201 South Main Street. From there your tour will
take you up and back on Main Street. Allow about an hour for the stroll.
Leaving the Visitors Center proceed north up Main Street. One block up on your
left will be the Historic Henderson County Courthouse.
Historic Henderson County Courthouse (NRHP) 113 North Main St.
Built in 1905, the historic Henderson County Courthouse overlooks Main Street.
Graced with a gold dome and a statue of Lady Justice, this imposing building was
constructed by W.F. Edwards, father of A.V. Edwards, who served as
Hendersonville’s mayor for 36 years. Neo-Classical Revival in style, this
building replaced an earlier two-story stuccoed brick structure. The architect
was Richard Sharp Smith and is Smith’s only structure in Hendersonville. The
most notable feature of the courthouse is the gold domed three-stage cupola,
which consists of a columned drum and domical roof, crowned by a statue of Lady
Justice. This Lady Justice is thought to be the only one in the United States
that does not wear a blindfold.
Although its main function was as a courthouse, the graceful building served
other purposes over the years. The main courtroom was used in the early 1900s
for various purposes, including speeches by governors, and as a gathering place
for church congregations. Although it no longer is Henderson County’s
courthouse, it remains a dignified and majestic reminder of the past. The
sophistication and grandeur reflect the past aspirations of a small county seat
at a time when the economy was booming and whose population was beginning to
Farther up Main Street in the next block you will see the People’s National Bank
Building on your left.
People’s National Bank Building (NRHP) 227-231 North Main St.
This building, dating back to around 1910, is a two story Neo-Classical
structure of cream colored brick and was built by W.F. Edwards. It has a
recessed central entrance beneath entablature supported by Ionic columns, and
storefronts to either side. The bank building was the earliest use of
Neo-Classical style and reinforced concrete
construction for a commercial building in Hendersonville.
Continuing on up North Main Street to the end, look for the Maxwell Store
Building on your left, which is now home to Mast General Store.
Maxwell Store Building (NRHP) 529 North Main St.
This building once housed a fancy grocery business run by Maxwell Brown, a
longtime proprietor. It was built around 1910 and is a two-story pressed brick
structure. Highlights are round and segmentally arched windows with fanlights.
Turn around at this point and continue south on North Main. Turn left at 5th
Avenue and look for the Hendersonville City Hall on your left.
Hendersonville City Hall (NRHP) 145 5th Ave. East
Built between 1926 and 1928, this Neo-Classical Revival building was designed by
Erle Stilwell. A flight of stairs leads up to the main entrance which is under a
tetrastyle portico, on which is inscribed ‘”Erected by the People, Dedicated to
the Perpetuation of Civic Progress, Liberty and the Security of Public Honor.”
This building reflects the prosperity of Hendersonville during the 1920s and the
architectural refinement that Stilwell brought to the city.
After viewing the City Hall, return to Main Street, and turn left. Proceed south
on Main. The Ripley-Shepherd Building will be three blocks down on your left.
Ripley-Shepherd Building (NRHP) 218 North Main St.
This building is believed to be the second-oldest building on Main Street, one
of several buildings built by Colonel Valentine Ripley and once known as the
“Ripley Brick Store House.” It is said to have served as a district commissary
under a Major Noe during the Civil War. Later it was also a post office for
Hendersonville. Later still it was the home of Shepherd and Hart’s furniture
store and undertaking business. Notable features are the high hip roof and