Two historical landmarks still exist in downtown Chattanooga although they are heading in different directions of survival.
The history of both the Read House and Patten Hotels have been well-documented and do not need to be repeated.
A visitor to the premises of the original Crutchfield House located at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard (MLK) and Broad Street can review the important dates of the facility on the picture windows on the western and south sides of the building on MLK and Chestnut streets.
In 2016 the privately owned, 242-room inn was purchased by Historic Read House Association LLC, a subsidiary of Avocet Hospitality Group.
It is not as well known except to local historians that the Patten Hotel was the most prominent of the two for many years after it opened in 1908. An article published on Aug. 20, 2021 under the Happenings column in Chattanoogan.com traces the origin and current status under Section 8 of the HUD regulated premises which provides for low income families to occupy the premises.
With the proposed “$1 billion project” for development moving forward by the city, county, Chattanooga Lookouts, the Chazens, and many other public-minded citizens some consideration should be given to saving the Patten landmark from the wrecking ball or further deterioration/destruction under the current circumstances.
With the steady influx of cash by developers and purchasers from other high tax states there is an opportunity for one of the premier hotels in the South (and nation) to be saved and be renovated as has been done with the Read House.
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, and the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville would be glad to add the Patten to the exclusive list of preserved historical venues along with the Read House in the four metropolitan areas of the Volunteer State.
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You can reach Jerry Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org)