Valley Rewind: Rafael Guastavino's 'Spanish Castle'
This undated photograph features a snow-covered kiln on the estate of Rafael Guastavino. Rafael Guastavino and his son, also Rafael, came to Black Mountain in 1894 and proceeded to buy land for an estate which he named "Rhododendron." Guastavino’s home, known to locals as “The Spanish Castle,” was a departure from the typical Guastavino style of building as a wooden, 25-room structure. Several kilns were built near the house and these kilns produced much of the brick and tile used in the construction of vaulted ceilings and arches at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. The ruins of one kiln still remain on what is now the Christmount Christian Assembly camp and conference center. Foundations for the "Spanish Castle" are located nearby along with a wine cellar, stone walls, and many other building foundations and landscape areas. Nearly 8 acres of this unique estate are registered as a National Historic Site.