Built in the Roaring '20s, Asheville's Grove Arcade — an opulent marketplace stuffed with shops and restaurants — was originally intended to stand 14 stories high. But the owner died before it was complete, leaving only the base of the building complete. No matter — it's still quite lovely, and the shorter profile means it fits in better with Asheville's skyline.
Walking through the arcade is an odd experience. Since most of the stores have street-facing storefronts, the arcade itself isn't terribly busy. Chained-off staircases and unreachable upper-level balconies tantalize, and it's hard not to smile at the opulent decor. The shops have a decidedly local bent, with small galleries and arts and craft shops offering eclectic souvenirs. I didn't buy anything on my visit, but I enjoyed strolling through the building and admiring the open, airy, light-filled aesthetic.