Thomas Wolfe House

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Thomas Wolfe House
Thomas Wolfe's Home.jpg
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Location52 North Market Street
Asheville, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°35′51″N82°33′03″W / 35.59750°N 82.55083°W / 35.59750; -82.55083 Coordinates: 35°35′51″N82°33′03″W / 35.59750°N 82.55083°W / 35.59750; -82.55083
Architectural style Queen Anne
Part of Downtown Asheville Historic District (#79001676)
NRHP reference # 71000572
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 11, 1971 [1]
Designated NHLNovember 11, 1971 [2]
Designated CPApril 26, 1979
Front porch of Wolfe's "Old Kentucky Home" Rocking chairs on front porch, Thomas Wolfe House IMG 5173.JPG
Front porch of Wolfe's "Old Kentucky Home"

The Thomas Wolfe House, also known as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, is a state historic site, historic house and museum located at 52 North Market Street in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The American author Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938) lived in the home during his boyhood. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971 for its association with Wolfe. [2] [3] It is located in the Downtown Asheville Historic District.

A historic house generally meets several criteria before being listed by an official body as "historic." Generally the building is at least a certain age, depending on the rules for the individual list. A second factor is that the building be in recognizably the same form as when it became historic. Third is a requirement that either an event of historical importance happened at the site, or that a person of historical significance was associated with the site, or that the building itself is important for its architecture or interior.

Asheville, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Asheville is a city and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 12th-most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The city's population was 89,121 according to 2016 estimates. It is the principal city in the five-county Asheville metropolitan area, with a population of 424,858 in 2010.

Thomas Wolfe American writer

Thomas Clayton Wolfe was an American novelist of the early twentieth century.



The two-story frame house was built in 1883, influenced by Queen Anne style architecture in the United States. [4] By 1906, when Wolfe's mother, Julia E. (Westall) Wolfe (1860-1945), bought the house, it was a boarding house named "Old Kentucky Home". She soon went to live at her business with Tom, while the other Wolfes remained at their Woodfin Street residence. Wolfe lived at the boarding house until he went to the University of North Carolina in 1916. Julia Wolfe enlarged the house in 1917 by adding five rooms.

Queen Anne style architecture in the United States architectural style during Victorian Era

In the United States, Queen Anne-style architecture was popular from roughly 1880 to 1910. "Queen Anne" was one of a number of popular architectural styles to emerge during the Victorian era. Within the Victorian era timeline, Queen Anne style followed the Stick style and preceded the Richardsonian Romanesque and Shingle styles.

Boarding house house in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights

A boarding house is a house in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months, and years. The common parts of the house are maintained, and some services, such as laundry and cleaning, may be supplied. They normally provide "room and board," that is, at least some meals as well as accommodation.

University of North Carolina public university system throughout North Carolina, USA

The University of North Carolina is a multi-campus public university system composed of all 16 of North Carolina's public universities, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first public residential high school for gifted students. Commonly referred to as the University of North Carolina System or the UNC System to differentiate it from the original campus in Chapel Hill, the university has a total enrollment of over 183,001 students and in 2008 conferred over 75% of all baccalaureate degrees in North Carolina. UNC campuses conferred 43,686 degrees in 2008–2009, the bulk of which were at the bachelor's level, with 31,055 degrees awarded.

Wolfe used the house as the setting for his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel (1929). Changing the name of his mother's boarding house to "Dixieland" in his autobiographical fiction, he incorporated his own experiences among family, friends and boarders into the book.

The setting is both the time and geographic location within a narrative, either nonfiction or fiction. A literary element, the setting helps initiate the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may include culture, historical period, geography, and hour. Along with the plot, character, theme, and style, setting is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.

Novel Narrative text, normally of a substantial length and in the form of prose describing a fictional and sequential story

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book. The present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian novella for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself from the Latin novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning "new". Walter Scott made a distinction between the novel, in which "events are accommodated to the ordinary train of human events and the modern state of society" and the romance, which he defined as "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; the interest of which turns upon marvellous and uncommon incidents". However, many such romances, including the historical romances of Scott, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, are also frequently called novels, and Scott describes romance as a "kindred term". This sort of romance is in turn different from the genre fiction love romance or romance novel. Other European languages do not distinguish between romance and novel: "a novel is le roman, der Roman, il romanzo, en roman." Most European languages use the word "romance" for extended narratives.

<i>Look Homeward, Angel</i> novel by Thomas Wolfe

Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life is a 1929 novel by Thomas Wolfe. It is Wolfe's first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American coming-of-age story. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel briefly recounts Eugene's father's early life, but primarily covers the span of time from Eugene's birth in 1900 to his definitive departure from home at the age of 19. The setting is a fictionalization of his home town of Asheville, North Carolina, called Altamont, Catawba in the novel. Playwright Ketti Frings wrote an award-winning theatrical adaptation of Wolfe's work in a 1957 play of the same title.

The house became a memorial to Wolfe after his mother's death (he having died relatively young of tuberculosis). It has been open to visitors since the 1950s, owned by the state of North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources since 1976 and designated as a National Historic Landmark. [5] In 1998, 200 of the house's 800 original artifacts and the house's dining room were destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist during the Bele Chere street festival. The perpetrator remains unknown. [5] After a $2.4 million restoration, the house was re-opened in 2003. [5]

Tuberculosis Infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

National Historic Landmark formal designation assigned by the United States federal government to historic buildings and sites in the United States

A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Only some 2,500 (~3%) of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.

Bele Chere

Bele Chere was an annual music and arts street festival held in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The festival was previously held annually on the last weekend in July since 1979. It was the largest free festival in the Southeastern United States, attracting over 350,000 people. The festival consisted of six stages scattered on various street corners in Asheville. A designated area called Arts Park typically featured several dozen regional artists and their work. Displayed art covered a variety of media types including painting, photography, pottery and jewelry. A variety of music genres were represented at the festival, including country, blues, folk, mountain, rock and jazz with both local and nationally known musicians represented. In 2013, the 35th annual Bele Chere festival was announced as the final festival by the City of Asheville.

See also

National Register of Historic Places listings in Buncombe County, North Carolina Wikimedia list article

This list includes properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Click the "Map of all coordinates" link to the right to view an online map of all properties and districts with latitude and longitude coordinates in the table below.

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Waynesville is a town in and the county seat of Haywood County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest town in Haywood County and the largest in western North Carolina west of Asheville. Waynesville is located about 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Asheville between the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge mountains.

Hendersonville, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Hendersonville is a city in Henderson County, North Carolina, United States. It is 22 miles (35 km) south of Asheville and is the county seat of Henderson County. Like the county, the city is named for 19th-century North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Leonard Henderson.

Sylva, North Carolina Town in North Carolina, United States

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United States National Register of Historic Places listings

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  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. 1 2 "Thomas Wolfe House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  3. John D. McDermott (April 15, 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Thomas Wolfe House / The Thomas Wolfe Memorial / "The Old Kentucky Home"" (pdf). National Park Service.Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying one photo, exterior, from 1970  (32 KB)
  4. "Thomas Wolfe Memorial: Old Kentucky Home "Dixieland". North Carolina Historic Sites. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  5. 1 2 3 Blumenthal, Ralph (2003-06-05). "A House Restored, An Author Revisited; Thomas Wolfe Shrine Returns". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-11.