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Eleven Tennessee Sites Added to the National Register of Historic Places

 

Tennessee State ParksNashville, TN – The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced 11 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. “This recognition will certainly help retain these unique sites for future generations to know and appreciate.”

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

Alumni Memorial Hall, Vanderbilt University

Nashville architect Henry C. Hibbs completed this Collegiate Gothic building for Vanderbilt University in 1925.  Designed to be a campus focal point, it served as the university’s first student center.  The architecturally significant building is distinguished by heavy stone construction, oriel and multi-light windows, stone quoins and heavy stone window trim – all of which are characteristics of the Collegiate Gothic style. Inside the building, paneled arched wood doors, wood trim, heavy stone fireplaces and paneling are character-defining features. While Alumni Memorial Hall has undergone some modernization and has changed uses over the years, it remains an important campus building. 

Asia School

Built in Franklin County around 1952, Asia School is important as an example of African-American education in Tennessee’s rural communities in the mid-20th century. Historically, Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church ran a school and church on their property in the Asia community.  In 1940, the church deeded the school to Franklin County and around 1952, the current concrete block schoolhouse was constructed. Asia School served as a county school and community center until the county’s board of education closed the school and transferred the building back to the Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church in 1961, just four years before integration of schools.  The building is not used today, but community members hope to restore it and find a new use for the historical school.

Coats-Hines Archaeological Site

Coats-Hines in Williamson County is nationally significant as the only known intact archaeological site in the Southeast that contains extinct Pleistocene megafauna and associated stone tools in their primary contexts.  Little has been published about this site but it was noted as a potentially important site in a study by the National Park Service, titled “Earliest Americans National Historic Landmark Theme Study.”  Research into the site may yield data on the life ways of the earliest Americans, such as migration patterns and changes in technology. Special Advisory:  Media should note that due to the nature of this particular archaeological site, address and location 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.

Contractor’s Supply, Inc.

Howard E. Rodgers commissioned the Knoxville architectural company of Shelton & Stachel to design this 1947 building.  Rodgers was a contractor and real estate developer and this building housed one of his businesses in Knox County.  It is a fine example of mid-century Moderne design.  The basic design elements are seen in the glass-block windows, horizontal design lines, oak and cherry woodwork, metal trim and lighting.  It was used as office space for many years but is currently unoccupied.

Fort Nashborough

From its construction in 1930 to its reconstruction in 1962, Fort Nashborough has been an important part of the city of Nashville’s efforts to conserve and promote its early history.  In 1930, due to the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the fort was built as an approximation of the circa 1780 settlement.  After 30 years of use and realizing the importance of Fort Nashborough to the Nashville and Davidson County community, the city planned and built a reconstruction of the complex in 1962, which was designed by Joseph W. Hart.  The buildings are used by the local community, school groups and tourists for a variety of educational and recreational purposes.  Architecturally, the buildings are good examples of early 20th century log-revival designs.

Henry Farm

The 1830s Henry House, located south of Maryville in Blount County, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 for its Federal and Greek Revival architectural styling. The new nomination expands the boundaries and recognizes the agricultural impact the farm had on the settlement and development of Blount County.  Historic outbuildings on the property include a smokehouse, garage, chicken coop, a 20th century privy and a barn believed to date back to the 18th century.  The agricultural landscape of the Henry Farm includes approximately 90 acres of fields for crops and livestock, along with a historic pond.   The farm continues to be owned and operated by descendents of the family that settled the land.

Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway Section House

The NC&StL Railway Section House was built circa 1904 in the railroad community of DeRossett, near Sparta in White County.  The building housed railroad crews who maintained the tracks.  After the mines closed and railroads stopped servicing the region around 1936, the building was used as a private home.  The house is now owned by White County and was rehabilitated in 2009 for use as a museum.  The Bon Air Mountain Historical Society operates the museum.

Oak Grove Elementary School

Designed by architect Gordon Laidlaw Smith, the Oak Grove Elementary School is a good example of Hamilton County’s role in education.  It also is a good example of Colonial Revival architecture in Chattanooga.  The highlighted sentence should be something like – The original school was built in 1913 and an auditorium wing was added in 1936.  In 1941, a fire destroyed all but the auditorium and by 1942, a new school building was constructed adjacent to the existing auditorium.  The school operated until 1989 and the building is now privately owned. The Colonial Revival design is found in detailing such as quoins, pilasters, a pedimented entry, and jack-arch lintels with keystones.

Searcy-Matthews-Tarpley Farm

The Searcy-Matthews-Tarpley Farm in the Walter Hill community of Rutherford County represents important themes in Middle Tennessee farming and settlement patterns.  This is shown in the variety and ages of outbuildings on the 106-acre farm.  The farmhouse is an example of evolving architectural trends.  The circa 1830 “I-house,” which describes a two-story house that is one room deep and two rooms wide, with its two-story Greek Revival portico is a good example of a style prevalent in Middle Tennessee.  The addition of an ell around 1871 and a 1952 modernization of the house help define how the home expanded as the family and farming operation grew.

Tennessee State Office Building

Known better as the Sevier Building, Nashville’s circa 1939-40 Tennessee State Office Building was built as part of the New Deal Public Works Administration program.  It is an example of the Federal government’s efforts to provide employment during the Depression.  The Streamlined Classical design of Nashville architect Emmons Woolwine is seen in the monumental scale of the pilasters and cornice and the simplified classical details of the building.  Bronze screens and bas-relief sculptures by Rene Chambellan enhance the design on the exterior.  Inside, the building has two large murals painted by well-respected artist Dean Cornwell.  It is presently used by the Tennessee Attorney General’s office.

U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center

Located in Nashville’s Shelby Park in Davidson County, the U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center is an excellent example of programmatic or mimetic architecture, where a structure is designed to copy or mimic something not typically considered an actual building.  In the case of this building, its façade resembles the prow of a ship.  The two-story, steel-clad building was built in 1948 and 1949 from the designs of Nashville architect Edwin A. Keeble.  It is a standard Navy Butler Hut changed into a Nautical Moderne style with the addition of the prow, yardarm, curved deck, stair rails wrapped in roping, and porthole windows. 
 
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.


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