ASHEVILLE – The site of a historic hospital where Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, died in a fire is for sale for $14 million.
Several buildings on the site of the historic Highland Hospital in the northern Montford neighborhood are currently on the market, a realtor involved with the sale and online listings said. Among them are one of the first buildings constructed in Montford and structures used for the hospital established by Dr. Robert S. Carroll, a distinguished psychiatrist who treated addictions as well as nervous and mental disorders.
In 1948 a fire broke out in the main building, killing nine women including Zelda Fitzgerald, according to the National Park Service, which lists the hospital site as on the National Register of Historic Places.
"Highland Hospital is most often associated as the site of Zelda Fitzgerald's death but it was also a nationally recognized facility led by Dr. Robert Carroll, whose treatment for 'nervous disorders' included occupational and outdoor therapy combined with good nutrition, which was unusual for its day," said Stacy Merten, director of historic resources for Asheville and Buncombe County.
Carroll moved the hospital from its downtown location to the northern Montford area in 1909. The campus included the yellow Rumbough House, one of the first buildings constructed in Montford, Merten said.
A prominent gray stone building on the site, called Homewood, served as the home of Carroll and his wife, Grace Potter Carroll.
Merten noted Grace Potter Carroll was a "world-renowned concert pianist," whose music room "was the musical center of Asheville in the 1930's, attracting famous musicians from across the country and the world." They included Nina Simone who went on to become a famous jazz singer.
The central building that burned in 1948 was not rebuilt, according to those familiar with the site. Nearby is a plaque to Zelda Fitzgerald with a quote from a letter to her husband, "I don't need anything except hope, which I can't find by looking backwards or forwards, so I suppose the thing is to shut my eyes."
A 1920s icon dubbed "the first American flapper," Zelda Fitzgerald was a writer herself, but is now largely remembered for her spouse, whose novel, "The Great Gatsby," is seen as a seminal American work. Zelda Fitzgerald struggled with alcoholism and mental disorders much of her life.
After its use as a hospital, the buildings and land were divided up among owners. In recent years, uses have included an event entertainment center and office space.
Homewood, a striking grey stone castle-like building is selling for $2.2 million, according to Debbie Lane, a realtor with NAI Beverly-Hanks. The building is currently used as an events venue and is owned by Four H Properties LLC. Lane is also listing several cottages on nearby land owned by Four H for $2.9 million.
The Rumbough House is selling for $1.5 million. A red brick building with white columns next to Zelda Fitzgerald's plaque is on the market for $2.1 million. Both are owned by Highland Park Limited Liability Co.
A 1940 hospital building retrofitted into a laboratory facility in 1996 is being sold for $5 million by Whitney Commercial Real Estate Services.