A-B Tech’s Ivy Building Selected for Griffin Award from Preservation Society

The Ivy Building at A-B Tech, last remaining building from St. Genevieve's and Gibbons Hall, has been chosen as a Griffin Award winner from the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Each year PSABC presents awards to outstanding projects and individuals that further the goals of historic preservation in Asheville and Buncombe County. The Ivy Building was selected in the Preservation category.

The project was led by Brantley Construction Company and local Architect Clark Nexsen and his team. Michael Logan and the team of Logan Restoration and Contracting of Asheville were responsible for the restoration of all the original remaining interior 12-panel doors, and the massive oak entry doors.

The College is pleased to have been a player in preventing the demolition of this beautiful building several years ago and now to have it restored to its full glory,” said Dirk Wilmoth, CFO/Vice President of Business and Finance.  “We are grateful to the care and attention to detail that our architect Clark Nexsen applied in its design of this project and to Brantley Construction in its execution.  This project is made possible by the gifts of an enamored group of alums and friends of St. Genevieve’s and Gibbons Hall, along with the taxpayers of North Carolina through the Connect NC bond program.  It will be a fitting memorial to the past as well as a valued venue in the future of A-B Tech.”

Designed by notable architect Willis Irvin in 1936, the Ivy Building was built to serve as the auditorium and gymnasium for St. Genevieve’s and Gibbons Hall. One of the more notable speakers to give a program there was Helen Keller. The building was used until the school closed in 1987, when A-B Tech purchased the entire property of the former school. The Decorative Painting and Restoration Program of A-B Tech, founded in 1988, was housed in the Ivy Building until 2011, and was its last use.  

“Alumni from the schools and preservationists mounted an incredibly successful campaign to ‘Save the Ivy’ during a period of growth at A-B Tech,” said Amanda Edwards, Executive Director of College Advancement. “We were fortunate to have leadership who saw the significance of this building and had a vision for how it could be a part of the College. The Foundation is proud to have led the community fundraising campaign to complete the project.  It was wonderful to meet alumni and faculty and to hear the fond memories of school days.”

The Ivy Building will continue to serve students and staff of A-B Tech’s community for generations to come. The basement has been converted into offices for College Advancement. The main floor will return to its prior purpose and will relive its past as an intimate space for lectures, choral productions, pop-up art classes, as well as film, theater, and other Continuing Education Community Enrichment classes.

Visit the Ivy Building page for more information and a video about the preservation. 

See another video about the Ivy Building on the PSABC website.




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