The Eugenia Williams House

What’s the latest on the future of this iconic Knoxville residence? 
Knox Heritage supports the sale of the Eugenia Williams House by the University of Tennessee to someone who will care for and restore the historic structure. Our organization feels strongly that the house should not be sold without a preservation easement protecting it from demolition and encouraging proper restoration.

Recent News

From tennessee.edu:

The University of Tennessee, working with the State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management (STREAM) office, is requesting sealed bids for the purchase of property and improvements located at 4848 Lyons View Pike in Knoxville, Tenn, commonly known as the Eugenia Williams house.

“We believe that requiring a preservation easement helps provide some safeguards to keep the property preserved. I remain hopeful this bidding process will bring forth an enthusiastic preservationist to restore this unique property in our community.” – UT Interim President Randy Boyd

Open houses will be held on Sept. 5 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. Individuals interested in viewing the property must schedule an appointment by calling the STREAM office toll free at (844) 660-8100. The State will accept sealed bids until 1:30 p.m. CST on Sept. 26, 2019.

Full documents are available HERE.


Go Beyond the Front Door

Brian Pittman, with help from KH board member Jeff Wilke and volunteer Scott Brun, has created a series of videos that take you inside the legendary Eugenia Williams House.
Visit our website to see all six videos via YouTube
Revisit Daniel Johnson’s extensive photo gallery from our 2015 Behind the Scenes Tour for our members.

Why This Place Matters

Eugenia Williams was born in January 1900 to a prominent physician and one of the original investors who introduced Coca-Cola to East Tennessee. In 1940, Eugenia commissioned her childhood friend, John Fanz Staub, to design her a new residence. Staub, a native Knoxvillian, is best known for designing homes for many wealthy and influential Texans, with over half of his design work located in Houston alone. Architect Howard Barnstone, the publisher of The Architecture of John F. Staub and The Country Houses of John F. Staub stated that Staub “…talked about designing homes that would be an expression of the people who lived in them. You have to look at his houses not only as a record of his design work but also his interpretation of the character and personality of his clients.” Miss. Williams’ Regency-style home sits on 24 acres bordering the Tennessee River and still has most of its original design features intact. In 1998, the house was willed to the University of Tennessee as a memorial to Eugenia’s father. The property is located within the Lyons View Historic District.

All it takes is one visit to the property to understand that this is a beautiful and irreplaceable piece of Knoxville’s history and architectural legacy.