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."

 



Chester Martin: When The Hercules Came To Tennessee

PLEASE BE ADVISED that I was putting the finishing touches on this story when the recent fatal C-130 accident occurred at Savannah, Ga. That tragic event, however, does not in any way diminish my high opinion of the Hercules, as its reputation has long been established - and is likely to be sustained long into the future. My story, therefore, appears here "as written". Yes, I ... (click for more)

Browns Were Pioneers Of Waldens Ridge, Red Bank Sections

John Brown Sr. was "one of the original 765 white settlers of Hamilton County,'' acquiring large tracts on Walden's Ridge and building his homeplace near Soddy. Another pioneer was James Berry Brown, who occupied a beautiful hilly section north of the present Red Bank. Two of Berry Brown's descendants - G. Russell Brown and J.B. Brown - were educational standouts. George Willis ... (click for more)

City Stormwater Board Approves Water Quality And Development Fee Increases

The city Stormwater Regulations Board on Monday recommended that the city approve water quality and land development increases sought by the Berke administration, though board members said there had not been enough time for the board and the public to study the fee hikes. Bill Payne, city engineer, said the water quality fee increase would amount to an average $11 per year per ... (click for more)

Blakemore Gets 23-Year Prison Term For Selling Heroin That Caused Death Of Red Bank Man

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday sentenced Darius Jermaine Blakemore to 23 years in federal prison for selling heroin to a Red Bank man who overdosed and died.   Blakemore, 29, had gone to trial on the case, but it was announced in the middle of the trial that both sides had agreed to the 23-year term. Blakemore had faced 30 years to life.   Blakemore ... (click for more)

Liberal Conspiracy Afoot

According to Roy Exum’s Sunday column, there are now upwards of six or seven Democrats in Hamilton County, and all of them have secretly maneuvered their way onto the boards of a couple of dozen local organizations. Unlike Republicans, some of them serve on multiple boards and some of them serve with one another on the same boards. This is outrageous. We all know that boards and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Is This Civil War II?

Jack Minzey, by all accounts, was a beloved professor at Eastern Michigan and, as the head of the university’s School of Education, wrote many books and papers. Some were on the Civil War – he was an avid student of our nation’s worst moment – and his beliefs how to better public education will be quoted for years. Dr. Minzey died at age 89 last month and just last week, the ... (click for more)