Fort Wood National Historic District


Fort Wood National Historic District

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name =Fort Wood Historic District
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caption = Fort Wood District looking down Oak Street
location = Roughly bounded by Palmetto, McCallie, Central and 5th Sts.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
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added = April 18, 1979
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refnum = 79002437
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The Fort Wood National Historic District is a historic neighborhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is located just east of the UT Chattanooga campus, bounded roughly by Palmetto St., McCallie Av., Central Av., and Fifth St.

History

Originally, this area was a Civil War fortification, and was sold to developers in the 1880s. Before long, Fort Wood became one of Chattanooga's finest residential neighborhoods, with an excellent representation of Chattanooga architecture from the 1880s to the 1920s. There are many excellent examples of Queen Anne, Tudor, and Romanesque, as well as many others. Approximately 120 buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and together, those buildings comprise the Fort Wood National Historic District.

Decline

By the mid 1950s, the Fort Wood neighborhood had fallen into a steady decline. Owing to "white flight," many of the residents left 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

By the early 1980s, efforts were underway restore the Warner House, at the corner of Vine and Palmetto Streets. Within a decade, the city council had given the Fort Wood area statutory 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.

Notable structures

*Warner House (1891)
*William Gibbs McAdoo house (1888)
*Fort Wood Apartments (1904)
*Kappa Sigma Fraternity House (1903)
*Mizpah Congregation synagogue (c. 1928)
*Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity House (1909)
*Z.C. Patten House (1892) – Known to most UTC students as "Patten House," home of the Alumni Affairs Department. Also notable are the two Civil War-era cannon on the front lawn.

Further reading

* [http://www.cornerstonesinc.org/neighborhoods/fortwood.html Cornerstones, Inc page about Fort Wood area]
* [http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_101718.asp] Recent article regarding the clash between college students and older residents.
* [http://www.chattanooga.gov/86_104.htm Chattanooga Department of Neighborhood Services]


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