John Shearer: 3 Historic Buildings Razed At UT Campus

Saturday, January 05, 2013 - by John Shearer

Chattanooga area alumni of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who have not been to campus lately might notice some changes around the area of the University Center.

The reason is that three historic buildings – an old apartment building and two former homes -- were recently knocked down at the corner of Volunteer Boulevard and Cumberland Avenue.

The land is being cleared to make way eventually for a large new Student Union to replace the University Center that has been there since the 1950s.

Even students who have been at home since exams ended in early December might be surprised to find a big pile of debris near the corner upon their return.

All three buildings were originally private residences but were later taken over and used by the university.

The largest building, Aconda Court, which was also the last to be torn down, had opened in the early 1920s as a 30-unit apartment building. It once featured a nice central courtyard facing Cumberland Avenue and what is now the law school complex, but had served as various UT offices in recent years. 

That building was on the corner of Volunteer Boulevard and Cumberland Avenue.

Just south of it on Volunteer Boulevard in the direction of the Tennessee River/Fort Loudoun Lake was Temple Court. It was built as a home in 1907 but was converted into an apartment building a short time later.

It later became a men’s and then women’s dorm before most recently housing the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, the MARCO Institute, and Lock and Key Services.

Just south of it was another former home that had been built about 1927. It had been a UT home management practice facility in the mid-20th century before becoming the first Black Cultural Center on campus.

On the south side of it is another former home that had served as the residence of industrialist Weston Fulton and was later the UT student hospital. Most recently, it had been the campus’ counseling center.

It is being used by the Rentenbach construction firm building the Student Union but will be torn down along with the old University Center when construction on the second phase of the Student Union begins in 2014.

The first phase of construction on the Student Union is currently under way just south of the current building.

The razing of the three structures was criticized by the non-profit historic preservation group, Knox Heritage, but university officials said students requested a large student union and the campus has limited space for expansion.

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


Catoosa County Historical Society Meeting is December 8

The December meeting of the Catoosa County Historical Society will be held on December 8 at 6:30 PM at the Stone Church Museum, Ringgold, GA. A light Christmas meal will be served followed by music from the Mt.Peria Baptist Church men's group. We enjoyed them so much the last time they sang, we invited them to return. A love offering will be taken, so come prepared. The public ... (click for more)

Pioneering Pulpits Exhibit Opening at the Museum Center at 5ive Points

Pioneering Pulpits Exhibit Opens Sanctuary. Faith. Community. These words – among others – are synonymous with the concept of a church. The history of the Ocoee Region churches follows the pattern generally found in this area of the South. As new lands were opened for settlement, pioneers loaded their families and chattel in wagons and set out with bright hopes for the future. ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Man Shot In Chattanooga On Wednesday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot Wednesday afternoon. At approximately 3:16 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital for a person shot. P olice were advised that a male victim arrived suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. O fficers are attempting to locate a crime scene at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with ... (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Advice: Just Be Normal

Matthew Kerlin, by his own admission, claims to be just a normal guy. But I am of the opinion, after reading his speech following Samford University’s Winter Commencement exercises, that the university’s Assistant Dean for Spiritual Life is a bit more than that. Dr. Kerlin knows college kids well and his advice to the most recent flock of America’s graduates resonates with brilliance. ... (click for more)