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.

Latest News

University of Tennessee Announces Proposed Sale of Eugenia Williams Home to the Aslan Foundation
Proceeds from the sale will fund scholarships for lower-income students
Link to article on U.T. System News

Knox Heritage is very pleased that the Aslan Foundation may be taking ownership of the Eugenia Williams House. The Aslan Foundation saved Historic Westwood, now the headquarters of Knox Heritage, by purchasing the c. 1890 residence and contributing to its capital campaign. The Foundation’s commitment to preserving places of character in our community, such as Loghaven and Candoro, bodes well for the future of the Williams property.

If the sale proceeds, Knox Heritage will hold a preservation easement on the Eugenia Williams house which will continue to protect the structure from demolition and inappropriate alterations. The University of Tennessee should be applauded for developing an effective solution that will honor Dr. Williams’ legacy through a scholarship program while protecting his daughter’s iconic home.

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. Most notable among these is Bayou Bend, now a fine arts center and botanical garden that attracts thousands of visitors yearly.

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.