Early Chattanooga Duplex Being Retrofit For UTC Students

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Old duplex on Houston Street is being retrofit to house 51 UTC students
Old duplex on Houston Street is being retrofit to house 51 UTC students

One of the earliest Chattanooga duplexes is being retrofit to house over 50 UTC students.

Attorney Rich Heinsman, who has long owned two side-by-side quaint brick buildings just up from MLK Boulevard, noted that the university is right next door after it acquired the Mapp Building.

He said the building that dates to around 1898 was converted to 28 rooms. Existing rooms were used, and he had a basement dug out for additional space. Additional space was added at the rear.

During the construction, the two-story structure grew to over 10,000 square feet.

Attorney Heinsman, who served as his own contractor, said some original features in the house, including the ornate staircase, were sold to Estate of Confusion on Main Street.

The deteriorating front porch was taken off, but it will be rebuilt.

The building got new plumbing, new electrical, new windows and a new roof.

He said the building will hopefully be ready for students by the fall semester. In fact, one room should come available in about a week.

Attorney Heinsman has operated his law office from that location and a number of other attorneys have shared the space.

He also owns the similarly-designed smaller two-story building next door. It is now in use as the Bitter Alibi restaurant. At one time, his wife had a restaurant upstairs and he operated a bar in the lower section.

Attorney Heinsman can be reached at 757-9995.

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