The Ravenscroft Reserve: Its History and Importance

Presentation This Thursday, October 24 from 6:00-7:00

Pack Memorial Library, Lord Auditorium, lower level.

This event is free and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served.


Where is the Ravenscroft Reserve?

The Ravenscroft Reserve is located at 11 Collier Avenue north of Banks Avenue, at the southern end of Ravenscroft Drive.

The native oaks at 11 Collier Avenue in downtown Asheville.

What is the Ravenscroft Reserve?

Also known as the wood at 11 Collier Avenue, it is a circa .05 stand of 23 tall mature native oaks as well as many younger trees and shrubs. The subject trees are between 80 and 100 years of age.

What is the historical importance of the Ravenscroft Reserve?

This wood was a part of the former Ravenscroft School Campus. The one remaining building of that School, which is located just north of the wood on Ravenscroft Drive, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is located in the Downtown Asheville National Historic District.

Ravenscroft School circa 1900 at 29 Ravenscroft Drive (formerly 95 Church St). Built 1840s by Joseph Osborne in Classical Revival style. Named for John Stark Ravenscroft, NC 1st Episcopal Bishop. Ravenscroft Episcopal Boys’ Classical and Theological School opened by Rev. Jarvis Buxton ca 1856. B286-5
Ravenscroft as it looks today. Photograph taken by Mollie Warlick. K575-PSA

A Look at Demolition

Image #O095-DS, from MS285, Mundy Collection. North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library.

This is a photograph of 1926 demolition showing the creation of what we now call South Slope:  Millard, Buxton, and Banks Avenues were all carved out of that hillside. Coxe Avenue is in upper left with autos running on it. Note the trees, only some of which survived.

What is the environmental importance of the Ravenscroft Reserve?

The trees form an expansive canopy visible from many vantage points around the area and is an integral part of the South Slope’s scenery. According to one report made of the area, “the stand serves several ecosystem functions such as cleaning air, sequestering carbon, moderating noise, mitigating heat island effect and capturing stormwater runoff.”

Join the Friends of the North Carolina Room and five guests for an evening of learning and discussion about the area of the South Slope Neighborhood surrounding the former Ravenscroft School.

What will the presentation on Ravenscroft Wood cover?

There will be a 4-part presentation with ensuing Q&A session.

The History of the Collier Woods and its Connections to the Ravenscroft School, Thomas Wolfe, and the North State Fitting School, Until the Demolition of Buxton Hill, with Dale Slusser, Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County.

The Automotive History of Coxe Avenue and its Surrounding Auto Businesses, with Heath Towson, an avid amateur automotive historian.

The Ecological Significance of the Majestic Trees Located at 11 Collier Avenue, with Monty Wooten, certified arborist.

A Brief History of the 4-Year Effort to Save the Historic Wood on the Former Campus of the old Ravenscroft School & a Glimpse Into a Vision for its Future as “Ravenscroft Reserve”, with Inge and Imke Durre.


  1. Soon Asheville will have only spindly carefully planted trees along edges of property lines. How sad is that?

  2. Hi,

    I wonder if it will be possible to see a video of this presentation 6-7 pm 10-24-19).

    I planned to attend, but turned around when I saw the sign for $9 Event Parking at the parking garage entrance. That’s not your fault but I needed that nearby handicapped parking.

    Hope program was well attended.

    Thanks, Betty Moore

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. We did video record the 19/24 program and will have it up on YouTube on our video page as soon as we can process it.
      So sorry about the parking.

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