State Preservation Trust Wants To Save Delta Queen, St. George Hotel

Friday, February 28, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

David Currey, president of the Tennessee Preservation Trust, told the Rotary Club Thursday afternoon that Chattanooga's historic buildings are important because they were built as "monuments to the city's emerging status on the regional and now national scene."

He said, "Our history might be forgotten at times but it should never be lost."

Tennessee Preservation Trust is a Nashville-based organization that supports preservation all across the state. Each year, TPT also releases a list of the most endangered properties in Tennessee. In 2013, both the Delta Queen and the St. George Hotel in Chattanooga were on the list.

The Delta Queen has been the subject of debate not just at the state level but also at the national level, as well as from all sides. In 2007, a bill in the Senate to help the steamboat was co-sponsored by Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell.

More recently, Mayor Andy Berke pushed to have the boat removed, but the Delta Queen survived again.

The St. George Hotel, dating back to 1920, was partly torn down by the city in 2012. The front part of the hotel is now all that remains.

Being on TPT's "Ten in Tenn" list has helped promote awareness about other historic structures, keeping them from being lost forever. Mr. Currey said he hoped the same thing would happen for the Delta Queen and the St. George Hotel.

Mr. Currey said, "No one can really predict the future. What we can do when it comes to preserving historic structures in our communities is welcome discourse as a civic responsibility where we discuss saving or discarding important elements of our built environment."

He continued, "The dialogue we all engage in about these issues is something we do for the common good of our communities, ourselves, and our children."

He told the club members, "Preserving and reusing the work of those that came before us can be an important project for all of us. It is only accomplished through our collective imagination to strike a balance between what we've created in our own minds as competing visions of progress, the past versus the future."

He quoted William Faulkner to close his presentation, saying, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

 


Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Presents Book

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society presented the book Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors by John R. Brayton, The book contains research information from the days when Tennessee made up the western-most portion of North Carolina.  Many of the residents of Signal Mountain can trace their families to that time and location.  Betty Fassnacht, ... (click for more)

TSLA Releases a New Digital Collection Showcasing Tennessee Folklife

What do roley hole marbles, white oak baskets, shape-note singing, and banjoes have in common? All are examples of Tennessee folk culture or "folkways" available online in the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ newest digital collection: "Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project Collection, 1979-1984." The collection documents folk culture unique to Tennessee and highlights Tennessee's ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)