State Office Building On McCallie Avenue Deemed One Of America's Most Threatened Historic Buildings

Monday, June 23, 2014
State Office Building
State Office Building

The State Office Building on McCallie Avenue has been named to the top 10 list of America's most endangered historic buildings.

The listing is by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The building is being transferred by the state to UTC and is slated to be torn down to make way for a new student dorm.

Officials said the building needs extensive and costly renovation.

The group said, "The Chattanooga State Office Building was constructed in 1950 in the Art Moderne style to serve as headquarters for the Interstate Life Insurance company.

Its exterior features ruby granite and grayish-white limestone and a bronze frieze that is said to represent the sturdy mountain character of Southeast Tennesseans. Its interior once featured a penthouse lounge, auditorium and basement bowling alley for employees’ recreation.

"Today, the building is a showpiece in Chattanooga’s downtown that represents the past strength of the insurance industry in the city, as well the innovations that were taking place in the workplace in the 1950s. The state of Tennessee acquired the building in 1981 and transferred it to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) in December 2013. Rather than making building repairs and upgrades, UTC plans to demolish it."

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