4 Tennessee Sites Added To National Register Of Historic Places

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Tennessee Historical Commission on Thursday announced the addition of four properties to the National Register of Historic Places. They include a 20th century municipal building, a farmstead, an insurance company building and a 1799 house.

“Tennessee’s unique heritage is exemplified by these recent National Register nominations. Ranging from a late 18th century residence to a Mid-Century Modern commercial building, the listed properties depict the diversity of the state’s history,” said Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer Patrick McIntyre.

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

Tullahoma Municipal Building (Tullahoma – Coffee County)

The opening of Arnold Engineering Development Center outside of Tullahoma in 1951 resulted in ancillary businesses moving into Tullahoma, with a resulting increase in population and the need for more city services. In 1954 the city constructed a Mid-Century Modern municipal building to house city offices and the offices of the Tullahoma Power System.  The steel frame structure of the building is sheathed in Georgia marble and brick with many sizable windows on the public facades.  The Chattanooga firm of Bianculli, Palm and Purnell was chosen to design the building. Mario Bianculli was a widely-known architect who had worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority. His firm was familiar with designing multi-use government buildings like the one planned for Tullahoma. The building served as the center for government and electric power until 1977, when the power company outgrew its space and relocated.

Travellers Rest (Nashville – Davidson County)

Travellers Rest was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 for its statewide importance in early settlement, particularly for the property being the home of Judge John Overton, a significant figure in Tennessee’s history. In January 2018, an expanded nomination became the first nomination in the state to include all four National Register criteria – events, person, architecture, archaeology.

  • Event.  In 1864 the house was the headquarters of Confederate General John Bell Hood during the Battle of Nashville and the grounds were used as an encampment for Confederate troops. 

  • Person.  The updated documentation clarified Overton’s importance as a political leader due to his work as a federal revenue commissioner, Indian agent, judge and recorder of Tennessee’s laws.

  • Architecture. The house was constructed in 1799 and added onto for nearly 100 years.  The two-story weatherboarded building is a fine example of a Federal style house with an 1828 Greek Revival expansion. This updating and expanding of the house reflects the prosperity of Travellers Rest as it moved from the early settlement period of the state into a plantation.

  • Archaeology.  Travellers Rest also has importance as an archaeological site.  The property includes prehistoric and historic/non-aboriginal remains that continue to reveal critical information about the early history and prehistory of the area.

Carverdale Farms (Granville – Jackson County)

The 210-acres of Carverdale Farms include the main farmhouse, barns, a store, cemetery, church, two secondary houses and assorted outbuildings. Although settled in the early 19th century as seen in a circa 1830 log building, this and other buildings were adapted for re-use during later the 19th and 20th centuries.  In 1890 the farm was sold to Samuel Carver who continued to maintain the self-sustaining nature of the agricultural enterprise. The main farmhouse was begun in 1850 and the Carver family continued to live in, update and renovate the house through the early 1960s.  Samuel Carver’s great grandson, Joe Moore, continued the family’s agrarian heritage and was awarded the Star Farmer of America by the Future Farmers of America in 1955 for his leadership in agriculture.  On October 24, 1955, Moore and the farm were the front cover of Time magazine, further recognizing the prominence of Carverdale Farms.

National Trust Life Insurance Company Building (Memphis – Shelby County)

The National Trust Life Insurance Company was started in 1931 by Alvin Wunderlich, Sr. as a burial insurance company. By the time the current building was completed in 1963 the company had expanded into an important commercial business that included both burial and life insurance; they had also expanded their market outside of Memphis.  The unique design of the building was by Memphis architect Charles Jen of Martin and Jen. Set on a raised plaza, the 5-story building was constructed using a variety of materials such as concrete, marble, metal and glass. Rooms had their own controlled heating and cooling capabilities, which was unusual in the city at that time. A special five-zone system counteracted for the sun heating elevations during the summers and windows had a defrost system for the winter. Today the building is awaiting redevelopment.

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, as the State Historic Preservation Office, administers the program in Tennessee. 

For more information, visit http://tnhistoricalcommission.org.



Tennessee Historical Commission Announces Opening Of Battlefield Preservation Grant Funding

The Tennessee Wars Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission announced that applications for the Tennessee Civil War Sites Preservation Fund are now being accepted. The grant program, begun in 2013, is a key source of matching funding for the preservation of properties associated with the 38 most significant Civil War sites in Tennessee. Additionally, grants can assist ... (click for more)

Chester Martin: Responses I've Had To My "Memories"

Ever since I started writing these memories I have had many excellent responses to them, and most of those people have shared a few memories of their own. One of my good and faithful readers responded so favorably to my last writing, about the Fourth of July holiday, that I asked her permission to quote it here; she gives her own birth year - which is quite a few years after mine ... (click for more)

Trustee Hullander Says Airbnb Will Remit Hotel/Motel Tax Directly To His Office; It Has 600 Local Hosts With $7 Million Annual Income

Trustee Bill Hullander said Wednesday that Airbnb has agreed to directly remit hotel/motel tax for its 600 hosts in Hamilton County to his office. Mr. Hullander said prior to the agreement that his office had difficulty locating those renting out rooms or homes and had just 90 on the books. The agreement is slated to boost the current hotel/motel income from $85,000 to $560,000. ... (click for more)

County Attorney Says All Votes Were Counted In Recent Election Snafu, And None Affected Outcomes Of Races

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor, who is also the lawyer for the Election Commission, said all ballots were counted despite a recent election snafu. He said the affected voters did not affect the outcome of any election. Election officials said they learned just prior to the Aug. 2 election that there was a problem with  some district lines being improperly drawn several ... (click for more)

Jeff Styles, I Believe You - And Response (3)

I am glad that Jeff Styles presented the details of the event on his website.  Just because the government alleges a crime does not mean guilty. A criminal charge is an allegation by government. Sure, that allegation can be very serious, but the charge is still an unproven allegation until a court of law and Lady Justice has her review of the proof.  A person gets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Cake Is Baked’

If all goes well, and as expected, Hamilton County Chancellor Jeff Atherton will tell a group representing the Democratic Party not to ever again clutter his office or his courtroom with such a childish amount of political poppycock as will be brought on display tomorrow. The Democrats want to block Robin Smith, a longtime Republican stalwart, from becoming our next State Representative ... (click for more)