Inside Asheville's River Arts District - Atlas Obscura
Asheville: Off the Beaten Path

Inside Asheville's River Arts District

In the 1880s, the Norfolk Southern Railroad ran alongside the French Broad River’s path in Asheville, North Carolina. Factories and mills lined the river's banks, producing fabric, cotton, and ice, but all that was swept away in the Great Flood of 1916, which decimated the railroad and surrounding area. But the area didn’t stay down for long. Today, what is known as the River Arts District is a hotbed of arts and culture, with over 200 artist studios housed in repurposed sites like an old tannery and cotton mill—a nod to the area’s industrial roots.

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