George A. Mears House – 137 Biltmore Avenue

The George A. Mears House, located at 137 Biltmore Avenue, is a two and a half story brick Queen Anne style building constructed in 1885 by George Mears. Mears was an Asheville merchant who was in business between 1870 and 1910 on South Main Street, principally with his Mears Daylight Store, which burned in the 1920s (the building was so named because of its large expanses of glass).

One of only a handful of remaining late nineteenth century residential buildings in downtown Asheville, the Mears House is also one of the last relatively intact examples of the types of houses that once populated the area, with architectural styles that included Greek Revival, Cottage Gothic, eclectic Victorian, and Queen Anne. Particularly notable is the house’s elaborate slate-shingled mansard roof with prominent gables and gable-roofed dormers with finials.

Former Vice Mayor, Edward C. Hay, Jr., had this to say about the home:

“When our partnership bought the property in 1984 the building at 137 was boarded up and had gone downhill considerably. Volunteers from the Asheville Police Department would decorate the house at Halloween to give children a safe place to Trick or Treat. We were able to preserve the property and do considerable restoration, and over the years the historic place has become dear to us. Conveying it to folks who will further enhance and restore the character of the property feels very good. We couldn’t be happier.”

National Register of Historic Places for Mears House, 1979