5 Tennessee Sites Added To National Register Of Historic Places, Including Christ Church Episcopal

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Tennessee Historical Commission, the state agency that is designated as the State Historic Preservation Office, Friday announced the addition of five properties to the National Register of Historic Places. They include a log building, two commercial buildings in Memphis and two churches.

“Tennessee has a tremendous inheritance of important historic places that are highlighted by the diversity of these recent National Register listings,” said State Historic Preservation Officer and
Executive Director Patrick McIntyre. 

The sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places are: 

Laurel Springs Primitive Baptist Church (Cosby vicinity – Cocke County)
The 1914 Laurel Springs Primitive Baptist Church is located on the north side of Laurel Springs Road about three miles south of the community of Cosby in southwestern Cocke County. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located directly across the road from the church building and borders the south side of Laurel Springs Road for almost its entire length. Situated on a quarter-acre of land, the one-story, one-room frame church building is covered in board and batten wood siding and retains historic two-over-two double-hung wood windows. The interior walls, ceilings and floors are yellow pine. The church is no longer used for services and is privately owned.

Lonesome (Burns – Dickson County)
Lonesome, the William G. and Dicy Austin House, was constructed as a double-pen log building around 1820. Located in Dickson County, the house was modified circa 1890 when the kitchen log pen was removed and replaced with a frame kitchen. Updated with electricity, plumbing and new chinking and daubing, the last major change occurred around 1960 when the front porch was added. In the second decade of the 20th century, the building was no longer used a permanent residence but a retreat for the owners. The property includes the house, a spring box, a cemetery and a modern pavilion. Lonesome is a good example of how a basic settlement-era dwelling evolved into a permanent home, with the changing use of materials and changing uses of interior spaces. 

Christ Church Episcopal (Chattanooga – Hamilton County)
Christ Church Episcopal in Chattanooga is an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style. The brick church is trimmed in stone and was constructed beginning circa 1906. Important elements of the Gothic Revival style are seen in the pointed arch windows, buttresses flanking several sides and the large rose window. Inside, dark molded wood wainscotting, door trim and stairs embellish the sanctuary. About 1929, Ralph Adams Cram, a nationally-known architect who designed many notable Gothic Revival buildings, designed the interior remodeling of the church. Chattanooga architect Louis Bull was the supervising architect for the remodel. The remodel included an impressive arcaded colonnade. In 1957, a brick addition was built at the rear of the church building. Christ Church congregation continues to maintain the church.

Missouri Portland Cement Terminal (Memphis – Shelby County)
Standing 131-feet tall, the nine silos of the Missouri Portland Cement Company were built in Memphis in 1947 to take advantage of the city’s strategic location during the post-WWII construction boom. Memphis was a relatively central location and the cement company built this complex adjacent to the rail line and close to the Wolf River Harbor, which leads to the Mississippi River. Top portions of the silos could hold over 90,000 barrels of Portland Cement. The lower portions of the silos were used for employees’ showers and locker rooms, service department, bagging department and packing department. The Jones-Hettelsater Construction Company was responsible for this efficient design. As barges became larger shippers used the more accessible President’s Island/International Port of Memphis and use of the Missouri Portland Cement Terminal stopped in 1991.

Memphis Overland Company (Memphis – Shelby County)
The Memphis Overland Company building opened in 1917 at the corner of Monroe and Lauderdale on what was then known as Memphis’ Automobile Row. Until 1935, the building was used for automobile sales and servicing first for the Overland brand of cars and later for Cadillac. The two-story brick building sits close to the road, has prominent display windows and classical detailing on the façade, while the back portion of the building is less detailed. It is an example of automobile manufacturing companies constructing showrooms in prominent locations near downtowns to promote the rapidly growing automobile industry – so they could sell more cars. The Memphis Overland Company building shows this trend in its location just outside the central business district. The city’s automobile commerce moved further out on Union Avenue and buildings in the area once known as Automobile Row were abandoned. Today the area is known as the Edge District and is being revitalized with new uses for the historic buildings.

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 SHPO administers the program in Tennessee.

For more information or copies of the nominations contact Rebecca Schmitt at Rebecca.schmitt@tn.gov Copies of the nominations can also be found on the National Register web page.


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