Queen’s Gap Frozen in Time

In 2008, the Queen’s Gap development in the northern Rutherford County mountains was on target to be the largest gated community ever built in the North Carolina mountains. Jack Nicklaus had designed the championship golf course, and the rolling fairways had been cleared. A network of roadways was well on its way to be completed, and a first class equestrian center was taking shape. Most convincing of all, a multi-million dollar American Craftsman “Discovery Center” had opened, as well as an impressive gatehouse where security guards would screen vehicles for entry. Large lots were selling like hotcakes, and the future couldn’t have looked brighter.

But in late 2008, the real estate bubble burst, and everything stopped at Queen’s Gap. For the next four years, a protracted legal battle raged to determine the fate of the project. Ultimately, there was a damaging bankruptcy, and people went to prison. The “Discovery Center” and Gatehouse fell into disrepair, and vandals removed Arts and Crafts copper fixtures. The building’s windows and doors were boarded up, and for years remained that way.

In 2018, the building was finally allowed to go onto the market, and repairs were completed, including a new A/C system. Since then it has been maintained, but has never found a buyer. It is frozen in time, just waiting for the right occupant.

On Saturday, I made my annual pilgrimage to this architectural treasure just five miles east of my house to see how it was faring, and was please to find that it is alive and well, and still for sale.

Remains of the Jack Nicklaus golf course behind the Discovery Center
View of the main lobby through the front window.
Covered entertainment space at rear of the building. Notice the intricate tile and stone work.
Actual “Queen’s Gap”, named in the 18th century.
Advertisment from 2008

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