THE EAST END/VALLEY STREET NEIGHBORHOOD
The East End is Rising!
East End/Valley Street is the oldest and most historically significant African-American neighborhood in Asheville. Once the center of African-American life in Asheville, the neighborhood was connected to The Block (Eagle, Market Streets) and Valley Street (now South Charlotte), which was the heart of the neighborhood. The Block — home of the historic YMI Cultural Center, a pharmacy, law offices, other businesses and recreation — was once a draw for African-Americans from the entire region where renowned celebrities and musicians from across the country performed.
It is in East End/Valley Street that almost all of the first African-American churches of various denominations were located—St. Matthias’ Episcopal, Nazareth First Missionary Baptist, Calvary Presbyterian, St. James’ AME, Hopkins Chapel AME Zion, and Berry Temple Methodist Episcopal. It is here that the city’s first school for black students was established—at St. Matthias’ in 1867. It was here that two of the most significant schools for African-Americans in the city were located—Allen High School, a private (Methodist) school for girls, and Stephens-Lee High School, a public school that became something of a community center and a center for black culture and education for the whole region in the mid-Twentieth Century.
In the 1970s, Asheville’s urban renewal projects changed everything. Long ignored by the city, the neighborhood’s infrastructure and many homes were in code violation. At that time a significant portion of the neighborhood was razed, not only changing the face of the neighborhood, but connections between families and friends were unalterably changed. Residents were dispersed all across the city — some never to return. Read more about East End/Valley Street and urban renewal here: Twilight of a Neighborhood
The neighborhood has recently seen a surge in development with infill building of apartments and single-family homes. For sale signs are popping up on parcels no one ever expected to be developed. That development, and closeness to town, has brought about a shift in demographics from predominately African-American family homes to many white families moving in. Located within a few minutes walk from downtown, the East End has become a location of choice for people looking for the “Asheville lifestyle.”
Established in 2010, the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association has re-constituted itself.
Old and new residents are now working side by side in a concerted effort to re-create that lost sense of community, preserve and protect our rich African-American heritage, re-connect the two parts of what was once a single unified neighborhood, and make sure that the neighborhood and its residents are actively involved in any decisions affecting their future. Once again, as the Association’s motto boldly proclaims,“The East End Is Rising!”
Community Activities for Everyone to Enjoy
East End/Valley Street residents are close-knit and special. The goal of the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association is to enhance and improve the lives of the people who live here, worship here, or call it "home". Join us!
Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park
January 24, 2020
Join us for another community workday at the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park on Friday,
January 24, from 3:30 to 6:30! We'll be focusing on mulching perennials, clearing invasives, and pruning until it starts getting dark, then we will move into Stephens-Lee to talk about our goals for the park and planning for the spring. There will be no workday in December. Come give your time and support to Asheville's first edible forest ecosystem! We will have some extra tools for folks to use, but any gloves, loppers, pruners or weeding tools you can bring are much appreciated.
We look forward to seeing you!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 20, 2020
Each year, we honor the history of Asheville and of Martin Luther King Jr. by spending a morning in service and in community together in the historic East End/ Valley Street neighborhood. Prior to the cleanup we will be joined Renee'White, President of the East End Valley Street Neighborhood Association, who will speak about the history and importance of the neighborhood.
Join in a roadside cleanup from 10am to 11:30 am in preparation for the MLK Jr March from Berry Temple United Methodist Church to Downtown. We will meet at MLK Park, and we will be finished with the cleanup in time if volunteers wish to participate in the Peace Rally & March. Please read more about this here: http://mlkasheville.org/activities/peace-march-rally
Biscuits provided by Biscuit Head Biltmore. Coffee provided by Penny Cup.
We will be supplying grabbers, gloves, vests, and bags. Please dress for the weather in clothing that may get a little dirty, and wear closed toed shoes.
Please sign up to let us know that you're coming out to the cleanup: https://asheville-greenworks.networkforgood.com/events/17682-mlk-jr-day-of-service-cleanup
East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association Meeting
March 12, 2020
Please plan to attend the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday, March 12, 2020. Time and place to be announced.
The East End/Valley Street
Community Heritage Festival
August 28, 29, &30, 2020
In MLK Park! Save the dates!