Advocate For Saving Hardy/Williams House Heartened By Historical Commission Posting

Friday, September 7, 2018

An advocate for preserving the Hardy/Williams House next to the Cravens House on the side of Lookout Mountain said he is heartened by a Facebook post from the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Garnet Chapin said he notes that the post says, "The Tudor Revival style house is eligible for the National Register."

Mr. Chapin, who is restoring another old home just below Cravens House, said that would bring into play a public hearing on the home that was built for the widow of Chattanooga Mayor Richard Hardy. Ethel Hardy was a passionate horsewoman and animal advocate who helped found the Humane Education Society here.

The National Park Service in a recent letter reiterated that is has no interest in saving the house, which was last occupied by Robert Williams. Supt. Brad Bennett said structures that are not part of the 1863 battle should be removed.

Mr. Chapin said one of the prime missions of the NPA is preserving cultural landmarks. He said the Cravens House, which was the home of Chattanooga industrialist Robert Cravens, is more important for its relation to early Chattanooga history than as the scene of the Battle Above the Clouds.

He said the Hardy/Williams House is an important part of the historic group of interesting homes nearby known as the Cravens Terrace Colony.

Mr. Chapin, who was the prime person responsible for saving the Walnut Street Bridge, said a better outcome would be to preserve the Williams/Hardy House as a park interpretive center complete with restrooms, that are now not available at Cravens House.

"A parking lot could be built up next to the house," he said.

Mr. Chapin said he would be willing to move elements of the adjacent garage to his nearby home. 

The full Tennessee Historical Commission post says, "The Williams/Hardy House is located adjacent to Craven’s House within the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Park. Designed c. 1928 by Chattanooga architect Clarence T. Jones for the widow of former Chattanooga Mayor, Richard “Dick” Hardy, the Tudor Revival style house is eligible for the National Register. It is currently owned by the National Park Service (NPS) and slated for demolition, however local preservationists are making efforts to find a better outcome." 

Garage of Hardy/Williams House
Garage of Hardy/Williams House

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