Any visitor to Asheville will take note of at least two buildings even if they have no interest in architecture at all. One of those is our County Courthouse. Completed in 1928, it claims fame in being one of the most extravagant courthouses in our state of North Carolina.
When now known Asheville was previously known as Morristown, the city went through several standing log and brick structures during the 19th century but in 1923,coinciding with the rapid growth the county was enjoying, county courthouse officials felt that a new courthouse was a high priority.
The city began to push forward on a design by architect, Douglas Ellington rather in conflict with a prior design that both city and county officials had agreed upon. Thus began a parting of the governmental minds of these two groups. Whether the crux of that disagreement lay in actual design or the relative inexperience of Ellington, the county commission settled on a D.C. firm, Milburn, Heister and Company for the design of the courthouse in 1926. Though the founder of this company, Frank Pierce Milburn and his national reputation for quality public building was the reason for the selection of this company he died in September, 1926. His son, Thomas, succeeded him with a flawless transition and virtually no effect on the operational aspect of the firm.
Most would agree that this courthouse is the most opulently finished of public buildings with its complex setbacks, window groupings and Neo-Classical Revival overlays.
Once inside, the viewer can appreciate a sweeping marble staircase, both bronze and glass screens, ornate plaster artistry, a coffered ceiling and mosaic tile floor in keeping with the ceiling design.
At its 1928 completion date it was the tallest local government building in the state of North Carolina.
This, the County Courthouse building and the adjacent building,the City Hall, in local terms are referred to as the Cakebox (County Courthouse) and the cake(City Hall)
This cake and cake box description never fails to amuse and delight the visitors At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn all of whom have taken note of these two buildings as they approach Asheville drawn in by their exceptional beauty and distinctive design.
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast