Park Service Considering Whether To Remove Some Buildings At Point Park, Cravens House; Reopen Ochs Museum

Friday, February 8, 2013

The National Park Service is considering whether to remove some buildings at its Lookout Mountain properties at Point Park and Cravens House or retain them.

A public meeting to discuss the options will be Feb. 28 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at the St. Elmo Fire Hall at 4501 St. Elmo Ave.

Under Alternative A, there would be no changes to current structures at Point Park or Cravens House.

Under Alternative B,  at Cravens House the home of Robert Cravens and the stone dairy would be retained and stabilized. The Williams home and garage and a log cabin that was formerly used as a home for rangers would be removed. The Williams home was last owned by Robert Williams and was built by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hardy. Mr. Hardy was a mayor of Chattanooga and founder of Richard City in Marion County. Mrs. Hardy was an animal lover who was a founder of the local Humane Society. Storage sheds would be removed and power lines relocated or placed underground.

For Point Park, Alternatives B and C include removing "non-contributing" buildings, including a ranger residence, non-functioning restrooms and storage sheds.

Permanent exhibits would be developed at the long-dormant Ochs Museum.

In Alternative B, the Sanders Road Picnic Area would be retained at a reduced capacity. The first restroom would be replaced with a vault toilet. Non-functioning restrooms would be converted into storage or removed. In Alternative C, the picnic tables and restrooms would be removed at Sanders Road, while parking would be retained for access to hiking trails. 

In Alternative C, Cravens House would be made into a visitor contact station with exhibits inside. Other buildings would be removed and the parking lot relocated to the Williams property. Restrooms may be added. 

Some of the alternatives include developing visitor interpretive sites at park tracts in Lookout Valley.

There is also consideration of developing the former Pan-O-Ram Club property across from Ruby Falls as an overlook with access from the nearby highway.

The Park Service initially was to have a new general plan for the entire Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

The scope was later narrowed to Lookout Mountain and Moccasin Bend, with Lookout Mountain first.

Comments can be submitted electronically through the website below between today and April 8.

The website can be accessed here.


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