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The Jazz Age roared in Asheville, with the city doubling in population and building its first skyscraper as well as many Art Deco landmarks. At Biltmore in the 1920s, Cornelia Vanderbilt—daughter of the late George Vanderbilt-was coming of age and playing hostess to legendary parties. Join an urban historian for a walking tour past some of downtown's enduring architecture from that era and learn about the dramatic transformations that took place here, then sip a Prohibition-era tipple.
In celebration of the Allied Victory in World War I, the 1920s ushered in an era of what some believed would be permanent prosperity. The Roaring Twenties were a period of tremendous change in United States, in general, and Asheville, in particular, as the city's population more than doubled to over 50,000 in only a decade. The boom could be seen in the dramatic physical transformation of the city, from Asheville's first skyscraper, to its many Art Deco masterpieces. And like the Granthams at Downton, the now-widowed Edith Vanderbilt began handing over the reigns of Biltmore to her daughter Cornelia, and her husband John, himself a member of the British aristocracy. Cornelia, who was in many ways the quintessential flapper, reanimated Biltmore for a new generation in the midst of the Jazz Age, and while prohibition may have been the law of the land, the Roaring Twenties included a thriving underground that included speakeasies and bathtub gin.
While the Dowager Countess may have passed on her first cocktail in the opening episode of season 3, noting that "they look too exciting for so early in the evening," you can enjoy an early evening prohibition-era craft cocktail at Asheville's highly celebrated Sovereign Remedies with master bartender Charles Hodge, as urban historian Dr. Kevan Frazier talks about the dramatic transformations that took place in Asheville and at Biltmore in the Roaring Twenties.
The program begins with a brief two-block walk to see some of Asheville's extraordinary 1920s- era architecture and concludes with a lecture and cocktail.