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National Historic Register Adds 3 TN Sites

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; July 9, 2013:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Historical Commission announced three Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. 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 Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.

“The National Register honors places that help Tennesseans understand our heritage and what makes our communities unique and enjoyable,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “We are confident this recognition will help retain these unique sites for future generations to know and appreciate.”

Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:

American Baptist Theological Seminary – Located in Nashville, the American Baptist Theological Seminary Historic District has statewide importance in the areas of African American heritage as it relates to education, religion and the Civil Rights Movement. Now known as the American Baptist College, three historic buildings comprise the historic district. These are the 1924 Griggs Hall, the 1947 J.B. Lawrence Administration Building and the 1954 T.L. Holcomb Library. The college emphasized a Christian education and racial equality that would result in advancing the Nashville Student Movement. John Lewis, Bernard Lafayette, C.T. Vivian and James Bevel were all students at the college who became prominent in the Civil Rights Movement. Most events of the Civil Rights Movement took place elsewhere in Nashville, but the foundation for these events was cultivated in the college.

Hawthorne Hill – Constructed circa 1805, Hawthorne Hill is located near Castalian Springs in Sumner County. The two-story building has Federal-style details seen in the symmetrical façade entrance with transom and interior woodwork. In addition to being important for its architecture, Hawthorne Hill is a noteworthy representation of settlement and exploration patterns in the region. The property was historically part of a 208-acre farm owned by Colonel Humphrey Bate. Today the property consists of 10.45 acres and contains the house, a 20th century barn, a 20th century shed, a historic cemetery and a circa 1805 cistern. The property was purchased by the state in 2007 and it will eventually be opened as one of the Tennessee Historical Commission’s state-owned historic sites.

Rosemark Historic District – The community of Rosemark in Shelby County is an excellent example of an agricultural community that developed because of cotton farming and ginning in the 19th century and adapted to diversified agriculture in the 20th century. Of the 36 principal resources in the district, 24 are residences, two are churches, two are industrial buildings and eight are community buildings. The majority of the buildings in the district were constructed before 1920 and reflect the community’s greatest period of growth. Architecturally, the district is important for the late 19th century and early 20th century mixture of vernacular architecture seen in the principal buildings and the outbuildings associated with them. It is one of the few intact rural communities in the county.

Links to each of the completed nomination forms can be found in the site descriptions listed above. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places or the Tennessee Historical Commission, please visit the website at www.tnhistoricalcommission.org.

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State Reviewing Site Proposals for Nat’l Historic Register

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; January 8, 2012:

NASHVILLE – The State Review Board will meet on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, to examine Tennessee’s proposed nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. Beginning at 9 a.m., the meeting will be held at the Tennessee Historical Commission, located at 2941 Lebanon Road in Nashville.

The Board will vote on nine nominations from across the state. Those nominations that are found to meet the criteria will be sent for final approval to the National Register of Historic Places at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The nominations are:

  • Davidson County: American Baptist College
  • Davidson County: Thomas P. Kennedy House (boundary increase)
  • Giles County: Bodenham Mill
  • Haywood and Tipton Counties: Oak Hill Farm
  • Jefferson County: McFarland-Nichols-Pratt House
  • Montgomery County: Allendale Farm (boundary expansion and additional documentation)
  • Shelby County: Rosemark Historic District
  • Sumner County: Hawthorne Hill
  • Sumner County: Moye-Green House

Other business at the meeting will include the election of the chair and vice-chair, a progress report on various federal programs, along with the review and re-assessment of the Carringer-Cowan House in Carter County and the Union Avenue United Methodist Church in Shelby County for potential removal from the National Register.

The State Review Board is composed of 13 people with backgrounds in American history, architecture, archaeology or related fields. It also includes members representing the public. The National Register program was authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.

The public is invited to attend the meeting. For additional information, please contact Claudette Stager with the Tennessee Historical Commission at (615) 532-1550, extension 105, or at Claudette.Stager@tn.gov.

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State Board to Consider TN Proposals for National Register of Historic Places

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; September 12, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – The State Review Board will meet on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, to examine Tennessee’s proposed nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. Beginning at 9 a.m. (CST), the meeting will be held at the Tennessee Historical Commission, located at 2941 Lebanon Road in Nashville, Tenn.

The Board will vote on eight nominations from across the state. Those nominations that are found to meet the criteria will be sent for final approval to the National Register of Historic Places at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The nominations are:

  • Bedford County: Raus Schoolhouse
  • Crockett County: Fruitvale Historic District
  • Jefferson County: McFarland-Nichols-Pratt House
  • Maury County: Washington Miller House
  • Sullivan County: Holston Avenue Neighborhood Historic District
  • Williamson County: Franklin City Cemetery, Rest Have Cemetery and Leiper’s Fork Historic District (boundary expansion)

Other business at the meeting will include a progress report on various federal programs, along with the review and re-assessment of the Knies Blacksmith Shop in Franklin County and Montgomery County’s Drane-Foust House for potential removal from the National Register.

The State Review Board is composed of 13 people with backgrounds in American history, architecture, archaeology or related fields. It also includes members representing the public. The National Register program was authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.

The public is invited to attend the meeting. For additional information, please contact Claudette Stager with the Tennessee Historical Commission at (615) 532-1550, extension 105, or at Claudette.Stager@tn.gov. For more information about the Tennessee Historical Commission, please visit www.tnhistoricalcommission.org.

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Ten TN Sites Added to National Historic Register

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; April 12, 2012:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced ten Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. 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 Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.

“The National Register honors places that help Tennesseans understand our heritage and make our communities unique and enjoyable,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “We are confident this recognition will help retain these unique sites for future generations to know and appreciate.”

Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:

Court Theatre – The Court Theater began showing movies and stage shows in October 1929, after Ms. Linnie Carter bought a building in Huntingdon and remodeled it into a state-of-the-art theater. Carter ran the theater as an independent movie house until 1940, when Rockwood Amusement Company bought the building. The company updated the building with features such as a façade marquee. Located on the Carroll County Courthouse square, the theater was and continues to be a popular venue for movies. According to the National Register nomination, “bigger and more expensive multi-plex cinemas have slowly replaced the once single screen local cinemas. While gaining a bigger variety of movies to choose from at one time, the ability to enjoy a movie with friends and neighbors in a small community theater, such as the Court, is now both an exceptional experience and a welcome change.”

Fewkes Group Archaeological Site – Located in Brentwood’s Primm Park in Williamson County, the Fewkes Group Archaeological site was listed in the National Register in 1980 for its local significance. Current research showed that the site has national importance because of the work of William Edward Myer and the National Register nomination was revised to reflect this. Myer was a leader in the efforts to bring archaeology from a hobby into a scientific profession. He was an early proponent of stratigraphic excavation and used a multi-disciplinary team to analyze field results. One of his publications by the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, became a primary source of information on Middle Tennessee prehistory. The site is also nationally significant as one of the earliest well documented examples of the involvement of African Americans in federal archaeology.

Gibson County Training School – In 1926, the Gibson County Training School in Milan was built as a Rosenwald Fund project. Additions to the school building were made numerous times as the county and city grew. Education programs changed as the community changed. Milan also was an important military base during World War II and the Cold War years. In 1963, the county transferred ownership of the school, now called Polk-Clark, to Milan and the school continued to operate until the 1990s. The building is important as an example of the impact of Progressive Era philanthropic groups, the federal influence due to the presence of the Milan Army Ammunition Plant and the Civil Rights movement.

Highland Park Methodist Episcopal Church, South –Begun in 1907 and completed in 1916, the Highland Park Methodist Episcopal Church, South is a good example of Neo-Classical architecture in Chattanooga, Hamilton County. Located in the Highland Park neighborhood, the church was designed by the Chattanooga firm of Bearden and Foreman. The building is highlighted by the grand Scamozzi columns, octagonal dome, interior woodwork and stained glass windows. Keeping the Neo-Classical design, Benjamin Hunt of Chattanooga’s R.H. Hunt firm designed a Sunday school annex in 1924. Many historic churches in Chattanooga are designed in the Late Gothic Revival style, making the Highland Park church building an uncommon style of early 20th century church architecture in the city.

Hopecote – Completed in 1924, Hopecote is a good example of English Cottage Revival design in Knoxville. Designed for Albert and Emma Hope by John F. Staub, Emma’s nephew, the building exhibits characteristic features of the style such as the thick walls, a steeply pitched roof, small multi-pane windows and substantial woodwork inside. The English Cottage Revival design is part of a larger architectural movement known as Country House. Typically, a Country House residence combined elements of historic styles in modern homes for wealthy suburbanites. When it was built, Hopecote was in a suburban area of Knox County – now part of the University of Tennessee campus. Emma Hope sold the building to the university in 1976.

Maymead Stock Farm, Inc. – Two miles west of the Johnson County seat of Mountain City is Maymead Stock Farm, Inc., one of the oldest farms in the county and the first farm in the state of Tennessee to be incorporated. It is an important example of the agricultural history of the region. Still primarily owned by descendants of the original families, historically, the farm was associated with stock farming. Eventually crops such as corn and hay were added to the farm. The nomination includes two houses, agricultural outbuildings, commercial buildings and a cemetery. Architecturally, the two houses are examples of the Colonial Revival style and the outbuildings on the property are good examples of farm outbuildings. Approximately 1,000 acres and 26 buildings and structures were listed in the National Register.

Murfreesboro Veterans Administration Hospital Historic District – As part of its federal responsibilities, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs nominated more than 30 VA medical centers throughout the country, including Murfreesboro’s Alvin C. York campus. Begun in 1939, the historic campus contains 321 acres and 35 historic resources. It is important in the area of health and medicine at the state level and as an example of the federal government’s efforts to care for veterans. It is also a good example of the classical design influences the VA used when constructing this type of facility. The façade portico imitates Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and shows how the agency tried to incorporate local styles and history into their campus buildings.

National Teacher’s Normal & Business College Administration Building – Architect Hubert McGee designed the building familiarly called “Old Main” for the National Teacher’s Normal and Business College in Henderson, Chester County. Completed in 1908 the building is a fine example of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture. Brick arches, corbelled brick detailing, a domed cupola and paneled interior woodwork are distinguishing features of the building. Today, the former college is known as Freed-Hardeman University – named after two individuals who were instrumental in establishing the school. Old Main represents the educational and religious activities of the school. Historically the school promoted itself as being very modern and it was the first college in West Tennessee to have co-educational facilities. It is not owned by any religious organization but it is affiliated with the Churches of Christ through religious fellowship activities.

Nolensville School –In 1937, the community of Nolensville in Williamson County built a modern school building, adapting the schoolhouse design of Floor Plan No. 30 from the Rosenwald Fund. Available through the state’s Department of Education, these plans were originally used for African-American schools throughout the South. When completion of the Nolensville School was delayed, classes were held in a tent on the school grounds. The school building became the center of educational and social life in Nolensville. In 1948, additional space was needed and a gymnasium was added to the building. An example of the importance of the school to the Nolensville community is shown by the actions of the local Community Club, which purchased a surplus military building in Nashville, hauled the material to Nolensville and used the material to frame the gymnasium.

Old First Presbyterian Church and Old City Cemetery – The Old First Presbyterian Church and the Old City Cemetery were originally established as separate entities, but since 1965 have been merged into a single 3.53-acre site. From 1820 to 1931 leaders of Murfreesboro were interred at the cemeteries. Both cemeteries are associated with important Civil War battles, including Forrest’s raid on Murfreesboro and the Battle of Stones River. As an archaeological property, the site is noteworthy for the information that can be learned about the early church building and its setting. The site also has statewide significance for its use as a short-term hospital and encampment during the Civil War. Most buildings that were used as temporary hospitals continued to be utilized after the war and this long-term use obscures the history of the buildings during the Civil War. The demolition of the church in Murfreesboro soon after it was used as a hospital preserved archaeological deposits. This site is one of the most intact sites in the state and has the potential to yield important information about the use of Civil War encampments and hospitals.

Links to each of the completed nomination forms can be found in the site descriptions listed above. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places or the Tennessee Historical Commission, please visit the Web site at www.tnhistoricalcommission.org.

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More TN Sites on National Historic Register

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Aug. 25, 2010:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced eight Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. 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 Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.

“These listings highlight some of the diverse places that tell the story of Tennessee’s unique history,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “Our office is proud of its role in ensuring recognition of these time-honored places that help give Tennesseans a sense of pride in their communities.”

Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:

  • Beasley Mounds – This important archaeological site contains a prehistoric Mississippian period (A.D. 900-1450) mound complex, habitation areas and cemeteries. The property has yielded, or has the potential to yield, information on prehistoric Mississippian life ways. The site includes remnants of five earthen mounds and adjoining ridges around an apparent open plaza. First written about in the 1820s, the site was studied by Edward Myer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Myer’s interest in the prehistory began as an avocation, but he eventually turned it into his profession, working with the Bureau of American Ethnology from 1919 to 1923. His papers are housed at the Smithsonian Institution. Farmed for many years, the site was planted in a stand of yellow poplar in 1991 as part of a Forest Stewardship Plan. Investigations of the site have continued over the years, including a 2008 mapping and excavation project. Special Advisory: Media should note that due to the nature of this particular archaeological site, addresses and locations of the site should not be publicized. The embedded application has been redacted, but we urge media to use special care in reporting this information.
  • Fairmount Neighborhood Historic District – Containing nearly 500 buildings in Bristol, Tenn., the Fairmount Neighborhood Historic District represents a variety of architectural styles dating from the 1890s to the 1950s. The majority of the properties at this Sullivan County site are houses, with styles including Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, bungalow and Minimal Traditional. Soon after the King family’s land was divided in 1877, the first houses were built and building in the neighborhood continued until the 1960s. Originally planned to attract wealthy homebuilders, features like trolleys, a hotel and green spaces were part of the development. As the surrounding area transitioned to a more industrial, economic base in the first half of the twentieth century, Fairmount increasingly became home to a working-class population. The changing demographics present a good example of urban and suburban development in Bristol and this is reflected in the architecture.
  • First Congregational Church – Built in Chattanooga in 1905, the First Congregational Church is a noteworthy example of the late Gothic Revival style in the city. The church building was designed by Chattanooga architects George Adams and Charles Bearden. Large stained glass windows with Gothic Revival tracery and a brick, narthex tower are primary design features of the church. Local contractors L.C. Alston and A.J. Johnson supervised the laborers working on the building – most of them African American. With the site close to the street on a well-traveled corner and surrounded by commercial buildings, the church is a visible reminder not only of the Gothic Revival but also of the social history of the surrounding African-American community. The church building served as a religious and community center for the neighborhood for many years. First Congregational Church’s congregation disbanded in 2001. The building stood vacant until the current owners purchased it in 2006 and began rehabilitating it for use as an events venue.
  • Long Rock Methodist Episcopal Church, South – The circa 1886 church is a one-story brick building located near Huntingdon in Carroll County. Built by local carpenter Hezekiah James Wilcox, the building’s segmental arch windows, main entry and corbelled brickwork, are examples of Italianate detailing. Inside, elegant but simple details include the chancel railing, wainscoting and paneled wood of the pews. Since its construction in 1886, the church has served as a community center in this rural part of Carroll County. In addition to church services, it has been used for community singing, homecomings and other annual events, local meetings and circuit church events. In 1957, a classroom addition was added to the back of the original church but no other substantial changes have occurred. Three cemeteries associated with the church are included in the nomination, as is the long rock that gave the church its name.
  • Memorial Stadium – The stadium was built in Johnson City around 1933 to 1935 as a project of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Since that time, Memorial Stadium has been a central part of the city’s recreation department. Many high school football games, collegiate games and practice games have been held on the field. The National Register nomination states that “the facility serves as a reminder of the changes in the construction of public venues from small and intimate community-based facilities to the larger commercialized facilities of today.” The sunken bowl of the field and concrete stands make for a more personal, sports-watching experience than occurs in larger modern stadiums. An interesting and important feature outside the stadium is the Spirit of the American Doughboy statue. Designed and built to honor WWI veterans, the statue was later rededicated to include servicemen from other conflicts.
  • Ridgedale Methodist Episcopal Church – The late Gothic Revival-style Ridgedale Methodist Episcopal Church was constructed in 1925 at the base of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga. Principal design elements of the church building include the arched stained glass windows, engaged buttresses, steeply pitched roof and dark stained wood interior trim. The Chattanooga Times reported that the new church could seat 500 in the auditorium and balcony, had dark woodwork, cream-colored walls, natural gum pews and brass lighting. Costing $85,000 to build, the church was not officially dedicated until 1939 when the construction debt was paid. In 1953, as the congregation was growing, a three-story brick education annex was added to the building. Declining membership resulted in the sale of the church to an American Pentecostal congregation in 1994. In 1996, the First Baptist Church of Bozentown purchased the building and they continue to worship there.
  • Varsity Theatre – Located in Martin, the Varsity Theatre was completed and opened to the public in 1949. Designed by the Clarksville architectural firm, Speight and Hibbs, the building is important for its Art Deco and Art Moderne styling. It features the characteristic streamlined appearance of Art Moderne designs, such as the rounded edges and horizontal lines on the exterior. Art Moderne elements are carried over to the interior of the building, where there also are Art Deco features – such as the lighting and wall decor. Considered the premier theater in Martin and Weakley County when it opened, it was built for the Ruffin Amusement Company of Covington, Tenn. Named in honor of Martin’s University of Tennessee College (now the University of Tennessee – Martin), the air-conditioned, 1,000-seat theater was opened with great fanfare, including broadcasting the opening ceremonies on the radio. After being used as a church and years of vacancy, the building has reopened for use as a fitness center and physical therapy clinic.
  • Woman’s Club of Nashville – Constructed circa 1927 for John Beauregard Daniel, the Classical Revival house in Nashville is 2.5 stories, constructed of hollow-tile blocks and faced with stucco. The most prominent feature of the house is the one-bay, two-story pedimented portico with Corinthian columns. Multi-light windows, a gabled roof with wide eaves and parapet walls on the side elevations are other character defining features. Classical Revival interior elements include marble fireplaces, original wood doors and moldings, tiled bathrooms and the main stairway. The building is important as an example of twentieth century Classical Revival design in Nashville. Used as the headquarters of the Woman’s Club of Nashville since 1957, an addition was placed at the rear of the building in 1977 and the kitchen has been remodeled, with no substantial changes to the building.

Links to each of the completed nomination forms can be found in the site descriptions listed above. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places or the Tennessee Historical Commission, please visit the Web site at www.tn.gov/environment/hist.