The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced five Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The Tennessee Historical Commission, as the State Historic Preservation Office, administers the program in Tennessee.
“The National Register is an honorary recognition for time-honored places that enrich our communities and make them unique,” State Historic Preservation Officer and Executive Director of the Tennessee Historical Commission Patrick McIntyre said. “We hope this recognition helps generate and reinforce an appreciation for these special properties, so they can be retained for present and future generations of Tennesseans.”
Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:
Happy Holler Historic District – Situated around North Central Street and East and West Anderson Avenues in Knoxville, the 14-building Happy Holler Historic District is a good example of a neighborhood shopping district that formed where trolley lines had stops. The trolleys provided transportation between developing suburban areas, the downtown and the manufacturing and railroad districts. Most of the district is composed of one-story masonry retail buildings built between 1909 and 1945. The name Happy Holler comes from the Prohibition Era when alcohol could be purchased in the alleys behind the stores. Happy Holler is one of seven existing community based shopping areas centered on the streetcar trolley routes in Knoxville. Until the close of nearby Brookside Mills in 1961, the district was a small, thriving neighborhood commercial area. There has been a resurgence of activity in the area due, in part, to Façade Improvement Grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
C.C. Card Auto Company Building – Built in 1915, the C.C. Card Auto Company Building is an important commercial enterprise in Cleveland, Bradley County. This was the first Ford Motor Company franchise in the city. The Card Ford franchise extended to nine counties in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. When C.C. Card established the dealership in 1911, there was only one other car dealership in the city, but by 1949, there were 11 dealerships. After his first dealership building burned, Card constructed the current building to Ford Motor Company standards, including details like the large showroom with architectural detailing. The two-story building had a ramp at the rear of the building to allow cars onto the second floor. Sales increased to such an extent that Card added onto the building in 1930; his son took over the business and modernized it in the 1940s. Suburban growth in Cleveland resulted in the company leaving the downtown location and moving out to Lee Highway in 1964. Last year, the preservation tax credits were utilized to rehabilitate the historic C.C. Card Building.
Picardy Place Historic District – The 23 residences that make up the Picardy Place Historic District in Memphis were built between 1939 and 1952. The district is important to the architectural history of the city as an excellent example of post-World War II residential development in Memphis. The houses are designed in a Minimal Traditional form with Colonial Revival details. This style is considered a precursor to the popular Ranch house that would be built in many suburbs. As servicemen returned from war and the economy boomed, houses needed to be constructed rapidly, so decorative details were few and housing forms were simple rectangles. In Picardy Place, owners chose from a limited number of designs and then could add extra features such as bay windows. The limited access to the main street and two cul-de-sacs give the houses a strong sense of neighborhood and isolate them from surrounding development. The district looks much as it did when it was first developed.
Miller Farmstead – The 56 acres, 10 buildings, three sites and two structures that make up the Miller Farmstead are part of Roan Mountain State Park in Carter County. The farmhouse, farm yard, outbuildings, cemetery and agricultural landscape are interpreted by the park as an example of Appalachian subsistence farming, farm life, architecture and settlement patterns. The farmhouse was built by Dave and Nathaniel Miller in 1908, using lumber from the surrounding woods. Although lived in until the 1960s, the house was never electrified. It became part of Roan Mountain State Park around 1970 and initial studies were to demolish the buildings and erect a ski lodge at the site. Today the farmstead is open Wednesdays through Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day and in October.
Norris Dam State Park Rustic Cabins Historic District – The buildings in the Norris Dam State Park Rustic Cabins Historic District in Anderson County were built as a New Deal project between1934-1937. Agencies involved in the design and construction were the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Civilian Conservation Corps, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. Nineteen cabins, the former linen house, former tea room, amphitheater, ranger residences and the 37 wooded acres are the character-defining features of the district. The district is notable for the federal government’s efforts to provide employment during the Depression, for its rustic style of architecture and for its use as a recreation area. In addition to being used for recreation and camping, the cabins housed workers from Oak Ridge who were working on the Manhattan Project. In 1953, the state bought the park from TVA and made changes to the cabins. Tennessee State Parks is currently working on plans to rehabilitate and upgrade the cabins so they reflect their historic nature and are able to be used year-round.
Links to each of the completed nomination forms can be found in the site descriptions listed above. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places or the Tennessee Historical Commission, please visit the website at www.tn.gov/environment/history.