Between 1930 and 1970 the population of Brevard more than
doubled, from 2339 to 5243. Residents were spreading out and had more
access to transportation. Businesses slowly
began expanding beyond the center of town during the mid-part of the century.
Heading south from downtown, the Sunset Motel (1955) and
Triangle Drive-In (1956) opened at the intersection of the Rosman Highway and
Country Club Road. Transylvania
Community Hospital (1942), Brevard High School (1959), and Brevard Country Club
(1939) were all located on Country Club Rd.
More businesses were opening along the Rosman Highway as well.
Businesses like Deerfield Lodge (1954), McCrary Auto (1949),
Harold’s Supermarket (1950), and Berry’s Restaurant (1959) were building north
of downtown on the Asheville Highway.
Meanwhile the old brick buildings downtown were also
undergoing changes. When noted architect
Richard Sharp Smith designed the Dunn’s Rock Fraternity Building on South Broad
St. in 1906 the two-story building included an ornate brick facade with a
parapet roofline and center gable. An
arched entryway provided access to a staircase to the second floor.
In the 1950s much of the detailed brickwork was removed
and the building was painted to reflect the clean modern facade that
would become popular during the next several decades. Later a full-height pent shingle roof covered
the storefront to the left, which is today Bracken Mountain Bakery. Aluminum
siding covered the portion of the building to the right of second floor
entryway. It has been removed from the stores
that are now The Children’s Center Emporium and Local Color.
The Aethelwold Hotel was a large L-shaped three-story
Queen Anne style brick structure with a mansard roofline. The hotel’s original entrance, located on the
Broad St. side of the building, was framed by rough cut ashlar block. A one-story portico with a balustrade
provided cover when guests arrived. The
portico and stone arches on the northwest corner of the building were removed
in the late 1940s or early 1950s. In
November 1960 the entire third floor was removed for safety reasons, leaving a
flat roofed two-story building. The
third floor, the stone arches, and the west side entry have since been
In November 1967 Patterson’s Department Store expanded to
cover almost all of the space in the four buildings on the south side of W.
Main St. from the Broad St. to Times Arcade.
The Chamber of Commerce was on the first floor of the building closest
to Times Arcade. A couple of years later
Patterson’s would re-face the two middle buildings on the Main St. side with
brick giving the appearance of one large modern building. Today those buildings have been restored to
look more they did in the 1940s. At some
time in late 1980s or early 1990s the corner building (today O.P. Taylor’s) was
covered with vinyl siding.
|This 1982 photograph of West Main St. shows an unappealing streetscape
with no trees or plantings and cracked and damaged sidewalks and curbs.
For many years beginning in the 1960s aluminum awnings
also covered the sidewalk along the west side of S. Broad and the south side of
W. Main streets. Today many of the downtown businesses have more traditional
awnings offering protection from the elements.
In 1990 the Heart
of Brevard was created as a Main Street Program through the Trust for
Historic Preservation to preserve not only historic downtown buildings but to ensure
a vibrant downtown district. Today
through the efforts of the Heart of Brevard, business owners, and the City
downtown Brevard is alive and thriving.
Photographs and information for this column are provided
by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.
Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more
about our history and see additional photographs. For more information,
comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]