The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) has a mission to create meaningful connections throughout our region in order to nurture and save historic places. ETPA raises awareness about endangered properties, educates citizens and local officials about the economic development benefits of preservation, and works to assist with finding solutions for saving important places. ETPA launched the East Tennessee Preservation Toolbox in 2015 with a goal to inform all 16 counties in the region about preservation strategies available to their communities.
The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance works to preserve the structures and places with historic or cultural significance in our region.
“PLACES” STRATEGIC PLAN
In January 2015, ETPA launched its PLACES Strategic Plan for Historic Preservation in East Tennessee. PLACES is an acronym that stands for the five ways our organization fulfills its mission: Partnership, Leadership, Advocacy, Collaboration, Education and Strategies.
Take a look at the 2019 PLACES Strategic Plan HERE. Learn more about our activities by visiting our ETPA website pages on the left menu.
A BRIEF HISTORY
As Knox Heritage entered its 35th year advocating for preservation in Knox County, they began broadening the scope to include a regional focus. In 2008, Knox Heritage received a 3-year challenge grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) as part of their new Partners in the Field initiative. Knox Heritage was one of only 24 statewide and local partners of the NTHP to receive this prestigious award in the first round.
A task force of representatives from surrounding counties began meeting in late 2008 to strategize on implementing a regional preservation plan. In January 2009, over 75 people attended a public meeting at the East Tennessee History Center to continue brainstorming about creating a new regional preservation organization. By the summer, a new board of directors assembled to develop bylaws and long term plans for this new organization called the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.
Thanks to the grant, Knox Heritage was able to provide staff and technical support for the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance. “Preservation fosters innovative solutions to complex problems”, said Richard Moe, past president of the NTHP. “Our Partners in the Field matching grants will help our network of preservation organizations across the country use proven tools to save places and revitalize communities. Our statewide and local partners, including Knox Heritage, are at the creative forefront of preservation in the 21st century.” The funds were used to expand the scope of on-the-ground field services and technical assistance to property owners, developers, local officials, and others needing information and tools to protect and enhance their communities.
Partners in the Field challenge grants were funded by a $5 million gift to the NTHP from the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust and matched by contributions of $10,000 or more from local donors and foundations. Knox Heritage secured generous grants from the Chapman Family Foundation, Ambassador and Mrs. Victor Ashe, Haslam Family Foundation, Clayton Family Foundation, and the Cornerstone Foundation. The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance Board of Directors is now charged with keeping the regional efforts funded and growing its impact.
The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance serves 16 counties in East Tennessee: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, Hamblen, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union. On occasion, we are able to assist in other counties in East Tennessee.
A SNAPSHOT OF ACTIVITIES
- Nine regional conferences hosted in Townsend, Rugby, Jonesborough, Gatlinburg, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Morristown and Clinton.
- 106 regional preservation awards have been presented since 2010.
- The Alexander Inn was removed from the “endangered heritage” list after a buyer and developer were secured with help from the Department of Energy and National Historic Tax Credits. Other properties removed from the endangered list include the LaFollette Post Office, Downtown Lenoir City, and Oak Grove School.
- “Developer Road Shows” have visited Knoxville, Maryville, Sweetwater, Morristown, Lenoir City, Jefferson City, Newport and Dandridge.
- A series of community “toolboxes” have visited Morristown, Maynardville, Jellico, Wears Valley, Oak Ridge and other places to discuss conservation easements, downtown revitalization, creating local historic districts among other topics.
- Regional Summer Suppers have been held at historic sites in Cumberland Gap, Chestnut Hill, Maryville, Jefferson City and Jefferson County, Sevier County, Morgan County, Grainger County, Morristown, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, Norris and Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains.
ETPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Scott Brooks, President
- Carroll McMahan, Vice President
- Barbara Garrow, Treasurer
- Gerry Myers, Secretary
Board Members by County:
- Anderson County – Wesley Lee, Stephanie Wells
- Blount County – (open)
- Campbell County – Gerry Myers
- Claiborne County – Michael Toomey
- Cocke County – Claude Gatlin
- Grainger County – Toni Engstrom, Jean Fox, Ginger Spradlin
- Hamblen County – Sally Baker
- Jefferson County – Michael Evon, Barbara Avery Garrow; Chad Christian Rogers
- Knox County – Scott Brooks, Hallie Hearnes
- Loudon County – Linda Garner, Diane Powell
- Monroe County – Mary Chappell Crabtree
- Morgan County – Sara Goodman, Sharon Kreis, Mary Lou Henry
- Roane County – Ray Smith
- Scott County – Vicky Foster
- Sevier County – Carroll McMahan
- Union County – Betty Bullen, Dr. Ronnie Mincey
Collaborative Partners Represented on the Board:
- Cherel Henderson, East Tennessee Historical Society
- East Tennessee Quality Growth
- Julie Graham, Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council (9 Lakes)