11/19/2007 - Neighborhood: Malvern Hills
ASHEVILLE The Malvern Hills community, now a shady residential area, was part of Ashevilles resort scene in the 19th century.
The Sulphur Springs Hotel opened there in 1830 as the first health resort in the area. Later, it boasted the first electric passenger elevator in the South. After the hotel burned down in 1884, it was never rebuilt. The hotels property was later purchased by the Asheville School.
A railway ran between Asheville and the springs from 1889-94. But with the development of Haywood Road and the rise of the automobile, it became easier for people to commute to work downtown from the neighborhoods surrounding West Asheville.
Malvern Hills was developed in 1925 by N.M. Anderson, founder of Asheville School.
The area was named by Anderson, said Karen Loughmiller, of the West Asheville Library. It was probably named for the famous Malvern Hills district of England, known for its beauty.
Thomas Wolfe, a real estate investor, currently has a home listed for sale on Sulphur Springs Road. I like it very much, Wolfe said of the area. Its fabulous. For the most part its fairly low traffic and a mature neighborhood shady lots, big trees. It always seemed real quiet to me.
Wolfe says that a lot of the older residents in Malvern Hills are natives of the area, but as those homes begin to turn over, younger families from different areas are taking their places. If I lived in West Asheville, this would be the area I would live in, Wolfe said.
As you turn off busy Patton Avenue onto School Road, you enter an area that feels more like an estate than an urban neighborhood, with shady streets and a private feel. Malvern Hills recreation park and pool is a popular gathering spot, offering swimming and tennis. And Vance Elementary School holds a fall festival and puts on other activities throughout the year for children and the community.
Asheville Citizen Times