A Craftsman Gem at Queen’s Gap

Before the crash of 2008, many developments were under construction throughout these North Carolina mountains, and none was more bold than the one at Queen’s Gap, an equestrian and golf community in northern Rutherford County. Jack Nicklaus designed the championship course, and the owners built an ambitious Community Center to show prospective buyers their vision for the future. Now, with the development in bankruptcy and property owners left with almost worthless lots with no roads, that future couldn’t be more dark. What survives today is an amazing example of American Craftsman architecture, longing for the day that some visionary investor will once again see the potential for this forgotten paradise, and bring people back to this remote wilderness.

Queen's Gap Craftsman 1
The Community Center stands empty today, and there is evidence of thieves stripping the fixtures and copper ornamentation.

Queen's Gap Craftsman 2
The stonework and wood carving are first rate. The interiors feature handrubbed hardwood details and expensive fixtures and windows. No expense was spared in creating this oasis in the woods.

Queen's Gap Lantern
Sadly, the Craftsman lantern shown here was ripped away last year, and slowly, other decorative accessories are disappearing. My fear is fire! With no fire suppression systems functioning, the mostly wooden structure could be lost in minutes.

Queen's Gap Ice Palace
This was the center three years ago when it was still occupied. It always reminded me of the country house, Varykino, in the film, Dr. Zhivago. It sits among trees and rolling hills surrounded by glorious mountains.

Queen's Gap Frivolity
What fate awaits this beautiful structure? Perhaps it will become a private research center, or an arts and crafts school, similar to Penland. The idyllic setting would be conducive for either. Someone will get a fantastic deal on a classic piece of design, and Rutherford County and North Carolina will be better for it.

5 thoughts on “A Craftsman Gem at Queen’s Gap

  1. What a beautiful place! And — I have that exact same porch light fixture!! (But I swear, I bought mine in San Jose; I didn’t steal it from NC!) I hope this place finds a buyer soon…. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Mr. Helms, I’m attempting to locate the music to the original QG radio commercials. It had an Appalachian, Folksy feel to it. Please help.

    Thanks,
    Art L.

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