Fort Wood Historic District

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Fort Wood Historic District
Fortwood Historic District 1.jpg
Fort Wood District looking down Oak Street
Fort Wood Historic District is located in Tennessee
Fort Wood Historic District
Location Roughly bounded by Palmetto, McCallie, E. 4th St and O'Neal St
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°02′41″N 85°17′31″W / 35.0448°N 85.2920°W / 35.0448; -85.2920Coordinates: 35°02′41″N 85°17′31″W / 35.0448°N 85.2920°W / 35.0448; -85.2920
NRHP Reference # 79002437
Added to NRHP April 18, 1979

The Fort Wood National Historic District is a historic neighborhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is bounded roughly by Palmetto Street, McCallie Avenue, East 4th Street, and O'Neal Street, and located just east of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus.

History[edit]

Houses on Vine Street
Houses on Fort Wood Street

A fortification during the Civil War, the land making up the neighborhood was sold to developers in the 1880s. Before long, Fort Wood became one of Chattanooga's finest residential neighborhoods, and it retains an excellent representation of Chattanooga architecture from the 1880s to the 1920s. There are many excellent examples of Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, and Romanesque Revival styles, as well as many others. Approximately 120 buildings comprise the Fort Wood Historic District as listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Decline[edit]

By the mid 1950s, the Fort Wood neighborhood was in a steady decline. Like many neighborhoods in the surrounding decades, a degree of "white flight" had many residents leaving for more affluent suburbs such as Signal Mountain, Hixson, and East Brainerd.

By the 1970s, the neighborhood's situation had become critical. Many of the buildings in and around Fort Wood had fallen into disrepair or had become victims of vandalism or arson. The neighborhood's bad reputation began to affect the students of nearby UT Chattanooga, many of whom moved off campus and stopped enrolling in evening classes.

Rebirth[edit]

By the early 1980s, revitalization efforts were underway, exemplified by the restoration of the Warner House at the corner of Vine and Palmetto Streets. Within a decade, the city council had given the Fort Wood area statutory zoning protection and many more houses were under renovation. Today, many of the homes in Fort Wood have been converted into apartments. Indeed, student apartments in this area are highly sought after by UTC students who wish to live off, but close to, the campus. One reason for this demand may be attributed to UTC's strict alcohol free policy. Fort Wood's historic preservation is ongoing and land values are rising.

Today (2014), very few of the homes in Fort Wood are student housing. The majority of the homes are private residences which have been renovated to their original purpose and grandeur.

Notable structures[edit]

Mayor Edmund Watkins House, 801 Vine Street. Built in 1889, now operated as the Mayor's Mansion Inn Bed and Breakfast.

References[edit]

  1. ^ UT Chattanooga. "UTC Student Handbook Online" (PDF). UT Chattanooga. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  2. ^ Twelve Tribes. "Twelve Tribes Community in Chattanooga". Intentional Communities. Intentional Communities. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 

External links[edit]