Basilica of St. Lawrence

Samuel I. Bean, stonemason; Rafael Guastavino, Sr., architect; Frederick B. Miles, sculptor; Richard Sharp Smith, architect; Rafael Guastavino, Jr., architect and builder
Variant Name(s):

St. Lawrence Catholic Church



Asheville, Buncombe County
Street Address:

97 Haywood St., Asheville, NC





Images Published In:

Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina (1999).
David R. Black, Historic Architectural Resources of Downtown Asheville, North Carolina (1979).
Douglas Swaim, ed., Cabins and Castles: The History and Architecture of Buncombe County, North Carolina (1981).


Famed Spanish architect-builder Guastavino and Smith worked together on the imposing brick church, where the broad dome and other elements show Guastavino’s unique self-supporting tile construction and other tilework, which he manufactured at his estate near Black Mountain. Guastavino is entombed in the church. Drawings survive in the Richard Sharp Smith Drawing Collection, Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, North Carolina. See[classification_facet]=Richard+Sharp+Smith+Collection&q=St.+Lawrence.

Frederick B. Miles, who like Guastavino and Smith, had come to Asheville to work on Biltmore, was commissioned to carve a stone angel for the basilica. The church was elevated to the status of a basilica in 1993. Rafael Guastavino, Jr., completed the edifice after his father’s death.