Asheville's most famous son, novelist Thomas Wolfe (1900–38), grew up in a 29-room Queen Anne–style home that his mother ran as a boardinghouse. In his prime in the 1930s, Wolfe was widely viewed as one of the best writers America had ever produced. The house—memorialized as "Dixieland" in Wolfe's novel Look Homeward, Angel—was badly damaged in a 1998 fire; it reopened in 2004 following a painstaking $2.4 million renovation. Although about one-fifth of the
furniture and artifacts were lost in the fire, the house has been restored to its original 1916 condition, including a light canary-yellow paint (though Wolfe called it "dirty yellow") on the exterior. You'll find a visitor center and many displays, and there are hourly guided tours of the house and heirloom gardens. The actor Jude Law, who will be playing Thomas Wolfe in the 2015 movie Genius, about Wolfe's relationship with his editor, Max Perkins, visited Asheville and the Memorial in mid-2014 to help prepare for the role.