Partner Spotlight

Reagan Design + Construction

When Knox Heritage launched its new Business Membership in 2022, Reagan Design + Construction was one of the first companies to invest in the opportunity. We recently asked founder Jordan Wilkerson to share insight into why preservation is important to them.

What do you wish everyone knew about historic preservation?

Preserving our built environment is not just about the places we go and the landscapes we see in front of us. It is also about preserving the stories our grandparents told us and being able to stand in the same buildings and be connected to their lives. My great grandmother would shop on Gay Street while my great grandfather played pool – and those buildings are still standing!

Without focused preservation efforts many of our historic buildings would not survive. When Knoxville loses these structures, we lose a physical connection to where we came from, our story, and our values. The strength of a city is rooted in its shared culture and connection to its past; in all of its wonderful and even shameful moments, we can learn.

Why is historic preservation important to your business?

Preserving historic buildings is our passion – the part of our work we feel is most meaningful. Seeing new energy in neighborhoods after we have restored a blighted, vacant property is incredible. Recently, we have been converting a school building that has been vacant twenty years into an apartment building. We are also turning an old garage in Fort Sanders into student housing.

Buildings want to be used, and we love giving them new life spans when we complete a restored home or adaptively reuse a building. Knox Heritage has always supported these efforts; it takes a village to accomplish the work we all hope to see done in Knoxville.

RDC has specialized in renovating historic homes and buildings, some of which were scheduled for demolition. While our technical team excels in preserving the structures, our design team has the vision to adapt a floorplan for a modern family or find a new function for an old building through adaptive reuse while maintaining the historical integrity of the property. We believe these structures can be reused long after their first purpose has become obsolete – and our city benefits every time an abandoned home or building is brought to life again by new families and businesses.

In 2023, Knox Heritage recognized Reagan Design + Construction with the City of Knoxville Mayor’s Award at the East Tennessee Preservation Awards for their restoration of a condemned 1920’s craftsman style home in the Parkridge neighborhood that was slated for demolition. Nominate someone for a Preservation Award today!