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


History Center's Walking Tour of Fort Wood is October 28

As a part of the Chattanooga History Center’s Director’s Series , Dr. Daryl Black will lead a walking tour of the historic Ford Wood neighborhood.   The tour will be Tuesday, October 28 starting at 5:30pm.   Registered participants will meet at the corner of Oak and Palmetto streets.   The fee is $10 for the general public or $5 for Chattanooga History Center ... (click for more)

Catoosa County Historical Society Meeting is October 13

The Catoosa County Historical Society meeting will be Monday, October 13, 2014 at 7 pm in the Old Stone Church Museum in Ringgold, GA. Our speaker will Chris McKeener, she will be speaking about the 6th Calvary Museum in Fort Oglethorpe, where she has served  as the executive director since 2005.     Also, we will have a short presentation ... (click for more)

Jo Ann Cronan Charged With Bribing Voters In Polk County; Similar Probe Underway In Monroe County

A Polk County woman has been charged with bribing voters. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation on July 24 into allegations of illegal activities related to the August general election in Polk County. The investigation was commenced at the request of District Attorney General Stephen Crump. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, along with Calvin Rockholt, ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)