When I Was 69

When I Was 69
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Gustavino from Spain and Black Mountain NC

More about Rafael Gustavino.
Resident of Black Mountain.

The Swannanoa Valley History Museum has published an excellent article HERE about his home in Black Mountain, and a bit about the man.  I just learned that when he studied architecture in Spain, he had a classmate named Antonio Gaudi (who is pretty famous in Barcelona.)

I first heard about Gustavino when I went with some other seniors to tour the Basilica of St. Laurence in Asheville NC.  (Basilica web site here.) There is an incredibly large dome over the entire sanctuary, designed by Gustavino, and his unique system of interlocking ceramic tiles.  There are still tours available, but probably need to be scheduled with their office. It is a most enjoyable and educational hour.  The art is definitely worth it.

Calling the Gustavino home a Spanish Castle by the locals, was just probably because of his Spanish heritage.  It certainly is not a home looking as if a Spanish person wanted to emulate his history.  I would guess that it's more to fulfill the wishes of his wife and family.

Here's the earlier photo from the Museum article.
This view shows very well how the lowest level could have been a barn for animals when it was first built.

This postcard shows how the terraced hillside was landscaped at the height of it's beauty.

Another excellent site to look at Here is about Gustavino's life, work, and plans for a Gustavino Museum.

I have yet to do the walking tour to see the kiln which is still standing. But I'll share the SV Museum's photo with you.

Chimney is 60 feet tall for this kiln.


  1. The Basilica is wonderful. And I love the color picture of his 'castle!'

  2. How interesting. It's too bad the "castle" had to be torn down.

  3. Hopefully spring affords you an opportunity to go out to the kiln.

  4. Thanks Lois,
    Thanks William,
    I hope I can try some of the walk, but I doubt that I'll be climbing slopes yet. My breathing has kept me from hiking for quite a few years, just as I moved to the mountains!


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