Rabbit’s Motel, a 1948 African American hotel and restaurant.

In 2019 Owen & Eastlake conducted the Asheville African American Heritage Survey in Asheville, North Carolina. The National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund provided a grant for the project, which was administered by the City of Asheville Department of Planning and Urban Design.

Owen & Eastlake initially identified historic black neighborhoods using the 1938 Works Progress Administration Real Estate Index. Two community meetings were conducted to identify sites, and interested community members were asked to participate in oral history interviews.

Owen & Eastlake worked with a community advisory board to identify survey themes, which included identification of buildings and sites that had survived numerous city urban renewal projects from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The board’s input was the underpinning for subsequent research and field work that identified churches, schools, parks, and other institutional sites important to Asheville’s black heritage.

In all, the Owen & Eastlank team identified six historic African American neighborhoods and inventoried 71 historic buildings and sites.

A google map of the survey sites.

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