Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College wins statewide historic preservation award

BUNCOMBE COUNTY – Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (Asheville, NC) has been named a 2022 winner of a Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit, presented annually by Preservation North Carolina, for the renovation of the Sunnicrest House. Each year, the honor awards recognize outstanding people, projects, businesses, and organizations in the field of historic preservation across the state. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College was honored in Winston-Salem on October 26th as part of PNC’s annual historic preservation conference. The award ceremony featured a presentation, which can be viewed at, followed by a beautiful reception at the Historic Brookstown Inn.

The Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit are named in honor of the late Dr. Gertrude S. Carraway, a noted New Bern historian and preservationist. Presented since 1974, a maximum of twelve awards are given each year. The Awards of Merit give deserved recognition to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a genuine commitment to historic preservation through extraordinary leadership, research, philanthropy, promotion, and/or significant participation in preservation. Each recipient receives a framed certificate.

The Sunnicrest House in Asheville was built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt as one of six cottages constructed north of Biltmore in an area known as Vernon Hill in the Town of Victoria. Sunnicrest is the only surviving one of the six. The architect was Richard Sharp Smith who had earlier been employed by design architect Richard Morris Hunt as his field representative during the construction of Biltmore.

Originally designed in a half-timbered Tudor Revival style, with pebble dash stucco, a shingle roof, and decorative wood windows and doors, Sunnicrest once hosted many of Vanderbilt’s guests.

In 1911 the house was sold to C.W. Redeker. Redeker and his heirs owned the property until 1990 when it was purchased by Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. In 1996, Sunnicrest was renovated into office space. Its west porch was enclosed for use as two offices.

After an extensive renovation, the house was repainted in original colors based on the investigative services of Asheville Paint Conservator, Mark Ellis Bennett.

The beautifully completed work was dedicated by Asheville-Buncombe Tech in 2019 with an event reflecting on the work of Architect Richard Sharp Smith.

Preservation North Carolina is pleased to recognize Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College for their renovation of Sunnicrest with a 2022 Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit.

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