History Museum Announces History Makers Honorees

Monday, October 22, 2007

Regional History Museum will honor Mr. and Mrs. John T. Lupton and the Lyndhurst Foundation as the recipients of its 2nd Annual History Makers Award at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 14, at the Chattanooga Convention Center. The award recognizes local individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to Chattanooga, the region, the state, or the country.

The 2007 honorees were chosen for the roles they played in the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga, which created an initiative which serves as a model for revitalization efforts across the country.

This event is the Chattanooga History Museum’s major fundraiser of the year.

In 1981, a time when the City of Chattanooga was in an economic decline, with no plan for its future, the Lyndhurst Foundation, under the direction of John T. Lupton and his wife, Alice, altered its course to focus almost entirely on the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga. Development of the riverfront became a priority, along with other community elements essential to successful revitalization programs, such as improvement of schools, cultural life, and the environment.

The Luptons, through Lyndhurst initiatives, not only altered the philosophy of downtown development in Chattanooga, creating a renaissance and economic growth that continues today, but also elevated the collective self-image and quality of life of the people who live in the city.

Lyndhurst Foundation revitalization programs from 1981 through 1991 include:
Five Nights in Chattanooga: Lyndhurst provided the funds to conducts a free, open-air concert series downtown in the summer of 1981

Riverbend Festival: Lyndhurst provided the seed money in the early years of the festival, beginning in 1982

Moccasin Bend Task Force: Lyndhurst shared with the City and the County the costs of this three-year study, which produced the Tennessee RiverPark Masterplan

Tennessee Riverwalk: Lyndhrust has provided challenge grants to cover approximately 20% of the costs of most sections of the Riverwalk

Chattanooga Venture—Vision 2000: Lyndhurst provided full funding for the operation of Chattanooga Venture (starting in 1984) and for the Vision 2000 process

Tennessee Aquarium: Lyndhurst provided $10,000,000 for the construction of the Aquarium

Tennessee River Gorge Trust: Lyndhurst paid for the initial years of operation of this organization and subsequently participated in capital campaigns for acquisition of property

RiverCity Company: Lyndhurst provided $10,000,000 of the initial capital for property acquisition in the area around the Tennessee Aquarium, as well as the operating costs of the organization in its early years

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise: Lyndhurst provided the full operating costs of CNE for three years (beginning in 1986) and later partnered with the City in the expansion of the organization (total commitment of about $25 million over the last 20 years).

Tivoli Theater: Lyndhurst contributed to the capital campaign for the restoration of the theater

Creative Discovery Museum: Lyndhurst contributed to the capital campaign for building the museum

Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences: Lyndhurst led the effort to establish the school and provided support for the renovation of the building

Public Education Foundation: Lyndhurst was one of the founding partners in the establishment of PEF in 1989

Chattanooga Regional History Museum: Lyndhurst paid for the first permanent exhibit

Allied Arts: Lyndhurst supported the Campaign for Excellence, which created the initial endowment for the organization

Miller Plaza: Lyndhurst partnered with the Tonya Foundation in the development of this space, now owned by RiverCity

Urban Design Studio: Lyndhurst established and supported this entity for 20+ years; it evolved into the Downtown and Riverfront Planning and Design Center

Walnut Street Bridge: Lyndhurst paid for the feasibility study for the restoration and made a contribution to the capital campaign


The program at the History Makers Luncheon will include a video presentation, produced by WTCI-TV. For more information, call 265-3247.


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