Our mission is to research and produce an online comprehensive history of the 1980 proposal to build a mall on Lexington Avenue in Downtown Asheville, its proponents, and opposition. Current archived collections, at Pack Memorial Library and Ramsey Library, will be be digitized, curated, and made easily accessible. This project will track the proposal from its conception through public rejection. This material will be supported with the use of oral histories, interviews with current business owners who would have been impacted, and before-after images. We hope that this becomes a great resource for UNC Asheville students and anyone interested in Asheville’s development. Thus all information will be presented broadly, welcoming to both professionals, enthusiasts, locals, and tourists.
This project will be part of the larger project of UNC Asheville Spring 2015 Digital History course. The overarching goal of this course is to take local archived material and create accessible public websites. For this collaborative project, we will work with the computer science department. Though this project, we will push the boundaries of conventional history into the fields of journalism, computer science, and new media.
There is a chronological narrative throughout the site. Starting at background, this page describes Asheville before the proposition of the mall, as well as the popular mall culture that was spreading across America. The next section, Build A Better Asheville, puts you in the place of the mall developers, city officials, and urban planners as they chose to follow through with the development of the mall. The final section, Save Downtown Asheville, outlines the struggle that the citizens went through to prevent the downtown mall from raising their businesses and homes. If you wish to follow the narrative chronologically, at the end of each page there are next buttons to link you to the next development in the mall’s history. We hope this site encourages further interest in this exciting and turbulent time period.