Asheville Neighborhood Profile – Chestnut Hills

Chestnut Hills Neighborhood encompasses an area north of the downtown Central Business District that starts at the corner of East Chestnut/Merrimon Avenue, running northward to Hillside Street, east to Julia Street, north to Annandale Avenue, east to Cornelia Street, south to Hillside Street and west to Washington Street. Most of the neighborhood is part of “The Connally Addition”, land purchased by Alice T. Connally of Fernihurst (now AB Tech culinary school) and subdivided in 1884. The land was developed for some of the earliest housing outside the city center during Asheville’s land boom in the 1890s.  The neighborhood remains largely intact with sizeable houses in the Victorian style of that time and bungalows dating from the 1910-20s period.  The earliest houses are farm houses from the 1880s.

Some of Asheville’s most notable citizens resided in the neighborhood as it developed:  E. W. Grove, NC Attorney General Theodore Davidson, the widow of Civil War Governor Zebulon Vance, Swiss doctor J. E. David and local philanthropist George Pack. The neighborhood is part of the larger National Register of Historic Places Chestnut Hill Historic District of Asheville, NC.

Chestnut Hills is predominately residential in scale with mixed density, age, race and socio-economic background. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and Beth Ha-Tephila Temple are located within the boundaries as well as professional offices, duplex apartments and Claxton Elementary School.  The landscape is notable for its mature trees and gardens as well as granite curbs and brick sidewalks, many of which are a century or more old.

For the future, the neighborhood consensus is that the area should maintain its current character as pedestrian-friendly with convenient access to services-restaurants, groceries, schools and offices while preserving the historic residential architecture.  New development as well as further commercial and office development should be limited while involving the Neighborhood in the decision-making process.

Our neighborhood challenges include an increase in traffic due to commercial development on Merrimon Avenue, lack of road maintenance as well as maintenance of brick sidewalks along Liberty Street.  We would like to preserve the neighborhood character amidst increasing density pressure, increasing absentee landlords, rising property taxes and values.