Thomas Wolfe left an indelible mark on American letters. His mother's boardinghouse in Asheville, North Carolina, now the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, has become one of literature's most famous landmarks. Named "Old Kentucky Home" by a previous owner, Wolfe immortalized the rambling Victorian structure as "Dixieland" in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. A classic of American literature, Look Homeward, Angel has never gone out of print since its 1929 publication, keeping interest in Wolfe alive and attracting visitors to the setting for this great novel.
Hours and Location
Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday, and most major holidays
52 N. Market St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Adults - $5
Children - $2
Pre-registered adult groups are $2.50 per person. School groups are $2 per person.
Guided tours of the historic "Old Kentucky Home" are offered daily at the bottom of each hour. We ask that groups make reservations in advance.
- Historic Structures
- The early 20th-century boardinghouse called "Old Kentucky Home," was the childhood home of novelist Thomas Wolfe. First opened as a Memorial to the author in 1949, the 29-room house is now owned and operated by the state of North Carolina. Today, the historic home is set up as it was ca. 1916, with over 85% original furnishings and artifacts.
- Visitor Center
- An exhibit hall and audiovisual program depicting Wolfe’s life and literature are located in the visitor center. The center also contains a display of art inspired by the writings of Thomas Wolfe.
- Trails, Monuments, Outdoor Exhibits
- The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is featured as a stop on Asheville's Urban Trail, denoted by bronzed replicas of Thomas Wolfe's shoes on the old brick street in front of the historic house. The Wolfe children's playhouse is also on the property. "From Cradle to Grave: Walking in Thomas Wolfe's Shoes" is a downtown walking tour featuring parts of Asheville that Thomas Wolfe saw during his lifetime, and many that he remembered in his writing. Available for download below, this walking tour booklet is also available in hard copy at the Memorial's visitor center.
- Handicapped Accessibility
- The first floor of "The Old Kentucky Home" is wheelchair accessible. The visitor center is fully accessible.
- Gift Shop
- A gift shop is located in the visitor center with books and souvenir items related to Thomas Wolfe.
Programs, Group Activities
Every October the Memorial celebrates Thomas Wolfe's Birthday month with special programming. In December, the home is decorated for our angel-themed Christmas, and the site hosts its annual Holiday Open House and wreath auction. January-April the Memorial hosts a Wolfe Short Story Book Club discussion once a month. In the summer, the Writers at Wolfe series features talks and book signings by local authors. Hands-on activities are available for scheduled elementary school groups and during various special programs.