FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 20, 2013
For additional information
Contact: Amanda Shell
The historic Westwood residence behind the serpentine wall on Kingston Pike is getting new life starting today thanks to Knox Heritage, the Aslan Foundation and other donors.
Now you can help restore Westwood and sustain preservation in East Tennessee.
After receiving the house from the Aslan Foundation, Knox Heritage launched a public campaign on Aug. 20 to fund preservation in the region for many years to come. Knox Heritage announced that the organization had already raised $1.1 million of a $3 million goal to secure the future of the past with the endangered properties fund and an additional $400,000 dedicated to the ongoing preservation of Historic Westwood.
Construction work on the restoration of Westwood begins in September, and the house will be the site of a preservation education center where people from across East Tennessee will learn how to protect our historic properties.
While enough funds have been raised to begin work on the house, Knox Heritage still needs the public and other private donors to support the preservation effort.
“It’s more important than ever to secure the future of our past,” said Knox Heritage Executive Director Kim Trent. “The Westwood campaign is about more than just saving Historic Westwood, though that is an important goal. It’s about ensuring we have funds to save other important historic properties for years to come.”
At the public kickoff, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, other elected officials and the public toured Westwood for the last time before the historic home closes for renovations.
The Aslan Foundation gave Historic Westwood to Knox Heritage in 2012 along with a matching gift of $500,000 toward restoration and five years of operating support. The house and grounds will be made available to the public for special private events such as weddings and receptions, meetings and corporate retreats, luncheons, and other activities, providing additional funds for on-going expenses and maintenance.
“Funds raised through the capital campaign will help establish a regional historic preservation education center at Westwood offering programs and information crucial to preservation efforts within the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance,” said Trent. “When it opens in the spring, Historic Westwood will be a permanent place where we can educate about the importance of preservation and amplify Knox Heritage’s mission of restoring East Tennessee’s treasured buildings.”
Westwood will also provide permanent offices for Knox Heritage, which is currently leasing space. Additionally, a portion of the campaign will be set aside as an endowment to ensure the financial stability of Knox Heritage’s preservation efforts.
Historic Westwood was home to Knoxville’s first famous woman artist, Adelia Armstrong Lutz. As an homage to this important piece of East Tennessee history, local artists Brian Pittman and Beth Meadows set up in Lutz’ art studio to paint and draw during the Aug. 20 event. Vintage movies were screened in the East Parlor, provided by the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS). The films featured scenes from Historic Westwood and showed what it was like to live at Historic Westwood in 1890.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984, Historic Westwood was used as a private residence for descendants of the Armstrong family until 2010. Since that time it has been vacant, but maintained by the executors of the estate. Westwood was one of three homes on Kingston Pike, collectively known as the “Three Sisters,” originally owned by the Armstrong family. Crescent Bend and the Bleak House, now known as the Confederate Memorial Hall, have already been restored.
Johnson and Galyon Construction, Brewer Ingram Fuller Architects and Blackburn Development have been selected as the project team for Historic Westwood restoration.
To learn more about Westwood and the campaign and to support, visit www.knoxheritage.org.
About Knox Heritage
Knox Heritage advocates for the preservation of places and structures with historic or cultural significance. Founded in 1974, Knox Heritage is the non-profit historic preservation organization for Knoxville, Knox County and the 16-county region of East Tennessee. It is governed by a board of directors with representatives from across our community. Knox Heritage carries out its mission through a variety of programs and encourages community support through education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.knoxheritage.org.