YMI (The Young Men’s Institute)
As hundreds of workers built the Biltmore Estate, African-American leaders Dr. Edward Stephens and Mr. Isaac Dixon urged George Vanderbilt to create a center to serve young Black men and Asheville’s Black community. The YMI opened in 1893, designed by Biltmore’s supervising architect Richard Sharp Smith. Built in part with funds lent by Vanderbilt, the YMI Board of Trustees raised $10,000 in six months to purchase the building from Vanderbilt in 1905. It has offered gathering space for Black churches, schools, and civic organizations, and has housed professional offices, a public library, a pharmacy, and even an orchestra. It remains in use today. Miller, one of the incorporators of the YMI, almost certainly played an important role in its construction.