Paradise Garden Foundation Acquires American Folk Artist Howard Finster's Home

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Paradise Garden Foundation announced that it has acquired the last home the Rev. Howard Finster occupied at Paradise Garden. Mr. Finster, who was an American folk artist from North Georgia, lived in the house at the corner of Rena and Knox streets in the Pennville community from 1986 to 1991, before moving to a bigger home on the other side of downtown Summerville, his final residence.

After he moved from the humble one-story home on the edge of Paradise Garden, the house was renovated into an art gallery and served as the Garden's main entrance.

Howard's daughter Beverly operated the gallery-frame shop, and also opened a small bed and breakfast.

The house was not included in the 2.5-acre parcel that Chattooga County acquired in 2011 when it purchased Howard's irreplaceable folk art environment, putting it under the stewardship of Paradise Garden Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit.

"The board of Paradise Garden Foundation is excited at the opportunity to rejoin Howard's house with the original Garden footprint, and believes that he would be totally thrilled about this news," said Garden executive director Tina Cox. Paradise Garden, including Howard's third and final Pennville home, was added to the National Register for Historic Places in 2012.

The house was sold to the foundation at an approachable, under-market price by the Rev. Thomas Littleton, who sold the Garden to Chattooga County in 2011. A close friend of Howard Finster's who sought to extend the spiritual purpose and messages of the folk art environment, Littleton had purchased the Garden from Beverly Finster in 2006 and steered it as chairman of the board of a nonprofit he took over from Beverly, Paradise Gardens Park and Museum.

"The journey to redeem and preserve Howard's Paradise Garden has been a long one," Littleton said after the house sale closed on Friday, August 28, 2020. "Now we recognize the hard work and renewed efforts of Tina Cox, Paradise Garden Foundation board and the many long-time friends and fans of Howard who have come together behind the shared purpose to honor his legacy and faithfully share Paradise Garden and its iconic World's Folk Art Church with the next generation."

Paradise Garden Foundation is working on multifaceted plans for the structure that will be announced at a later date. But Cox makes clear that it will be used to extend Howard Finster's mission of service -- to the local, regional and national communities.

In the purchase, Paradise Garden Foundation also assumes ownership of two desks featuring Howard Finster murals as well as the 1976 Lincoln Continental that the artist drove. The car has not been cranked in three decades. The foundation plans to add it to Paradise Garden's public display.


Incline Railway Recognized By Tripadvisor

Rock City Announces New Installations To Enchanted Trail

Tennessee Aquarium And UGA To Host Pioneering Workshop Addressing Freshwater Microplastic Pollution


Despite world travel being put on hold, Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform, announced this year’s Travelers’ Choice winners. The 18th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards recognized ... (click for more)

Rock City Gardens announced that its most significant trail enhancement project in recent years is underway, with several features already completed. The Enchanted Trail takes on more of a fairytale ... (click for more)

It is the inevitable destiny of all water that falls on land to eventually return to the sea. And like an enthusiastic tourist, it can’t help but pick up souvenirs along the way, whether it’s ... (click for more)



Travel

Incline Railway Recognized By Tripadvisor

Despite world travel being put on hold, Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform, announced this year’s Travelers’ Choice winners. The 18th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards recognized The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway as a winner. “The Travelers’ Choice program is one way that travelers and diners can benefit from the real-life experiences of other people so they can ... (click for more)

Rock City Announces New Installations To Enchanted Trail

Rock City Gardens announced that its most significant trail enhancement project in recent years is underway, with several features already completed. The Enchanted Trail takes on more of a fairytale feeling beginning with the large arched portal door entrance to Fat Man’s Squeeze, leading to the latest installments in the Hall of the Mountain King. The new trail features include ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Has No New COVID Deaths, 49 More Cases

Hamilton County coronavirus deaths remain at 95 and 49 new cases were reported on Sunday. The new total is 9,658. Tennessee had three more coronavirus deaths bringing the total to 2,377, state Health Department officials said. There were 2,104 new cases in the state for a total of 192,995. The state currently has 728 people hospitalized from the virus, 12 fewer than ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Rawlings Street Late Saturday Night

A teenaged boy, 16, and a man, 24, were shot late Saturday night on Rawlings Street. At approximately 11:05 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to the area of 2000 Rawlings Street on reports of shots fired. While officers were in the area checking for possible victims, dispatch notified them that two victims had just arrived at the hospital. Officers then responded ... (click for more)

Opinion

Increase The Pay Rate For Substitutes

Today Hamilton County Schools had 138 requests for substitutes. The answer to filing those classrooms is simple, increase the daily pay for substitutes. The pay rate is terrible for both certified and noncertified individuals. Knox County wised up and increased the pay. If a substitute works 10 to 14 days a month, he or she would receive an additional $300. If the person worked ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Should All Be

Over the weekend we had continued rioting and destruction in Louisville, Seattle, Portland, Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Kansas City and Baltimore. A female driver zoomed into a crowd of protesters in Orange County, Calif., critically injuring two, in what police believe – seriously -- is attempted murder. A male in a pickup truck clobbered some others in Buffalo, ... (click for more)