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enilworth Blends Old and New

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9/4/2007 - Kenilworth Blends Old and New
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ASHEVILLE Businessman James Madison Chiles had romantic notions of the English countryside on his mind when he developed Kenilworth, one of Ashevilles oldest neighborhoods.

Like the castle and town in England of the same name, Kenilworth features a lake and a village-like setting. Residents today such as Doug Beatty are fond of its sidewalk-lined streets, mature trees and unusual blend of architectural styles.

"Its a nice neighborhood," he said. "Its filled with a lot of older homes. You see lots of families and couples and folks out walking their dogs."

Chiles developed much of Kenilworth in the boom years of the 1920s, selling 283 home sites within eight months in 1923, said Mike Miller, a former Kenilworth resident and owner of Town and Mountain Realty.

"The interesting thing about Kenilworth is that in the original houses you have everything from English Tudors to Spanish-style architecture to Asian-influence architecture," Miller said.

Brick ranchers and other styles following in the 1950s and 60s, and new houses continue to be built there today.

With that diversity comes a wide variation in prices. Fifty-three homes sold in Kenilworth during the past 12 months, ranging in price from a high of $580,000 to a low of $157,500, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

The variety of styles and prices has attracted a similarly diverse and appealing mix of residents, Miller said.

"Its a very diverse neighborhood," he said. "Its racially diverse. Youve got blue collar, white collar. Youve got low income, high income. Its just a very nice blend of people."

And its convenient.

Bordered by Tunnel Road on the east, Biltmore Avenue on the west and Swannanoa River Road on the south, Kenilworth is within a few minutes drive to downtown, Biltmore Village, the Asheville Mall and Interstates 40 and 240.

Residents can play soccer, volleyball and basketball at Kenilworth Park or enjoy several other parks in the neighborhood. And then theres 19-acre Kenilworth Lake, inspired by Chiles visits to England.

According to the Kenilworth community Web site: "And Kenilworth castle had a lake, a grand and glorious lake, so Mr. Chiles decreed that his Kenilworth would also have a grand body of water to reflect the noble houses and trees that would one day spring up on its shores."

On the Net: www.kenilworthcommunity.org

by Clarke Morrison, AC-T

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