Thomas Wolfe

North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library

Plans to turn Asheville’s historic Flatiron Building into an 80-room hotel are still on hold. City Council is expected to vote next week on the proposal.

The history and context of the building's construction echoes the current trend playing out today -- a shift toward urban development.

The Flatiron was constructed in 1926, and in those days, the eight-story building was considered a skyscraper.

The City of Asheville goes by another name, Altamont. That's how it appeared in a book by early twentieth century writer Thomas Wolfe.  He called the place home, but not in an especially fond way. His novel Look Homeward Angel about a young writer trying to break free of his small town and family was largely autobiographical and brought him literary acclaim. A new film which takes place in New York, called Genius, portrays Wolfe and his working relationship with his editor. As Jude Law got ready to fill Wolfe's literary shoes, it wasn't the big city he had to go to fully understand the writer, it was Asheville, and one place in particular there.