Friday, October 27, 2023 | 8:30 A.M

East Tennessee History Center


Registration includes all sessions, breakfast, and lunch.

$100/person, or $80/person for current Knox Heritage members

Each session earns 1 AIA LU Credit

Presenting Sponsor

Media Sponsor

The East Tennessee Preservation Conference is held annually as a regional resource for civic leaders; history enthusiasts; and professionals in the fields of architecture, real estate, property development, and academia to provide education about East Tennessee’s historic sites and how we can all work together to preserve our shared history. This year’s theme, “Modernism in East Tennessee,” will explore the history of Mid-Century Modernist design in our area, its importance in the history of architecture, and why these sites should be preserved.


Registration for this event has closed.


Thursday, 10/26 – Additional Opportunity: Free Keynote Event

Join Knox Heritage & AIA East Tennessee the evening before the conference for cocktails and a presentation by George Smart, HAIA, founder & CEO of USModernist® at the historic Bijou Theatre. USModernist® is the world’s largest nonprofit educational archive dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and promotion of Modernist residential design. This event will feature a cash bar and free small bites.

This discussion earns 1 AIA HSW I LU Credit.

This event is free and open to the public, but we do kindly ask that you register to attend.

Friday, 10/27 – Schedule of Events & Session Details

Join us for coffee, breakfast, and mingling with like-minded preservationists! Typical conference attendees include preservation professionals, architects, planners, tourism professionals, government and community leaders, economic developers, real estate professionals and others who value advanced knowledge of historic preservation principles and practices.

9:30 a.m. | WELCOME

Presented by Christine Cloninger, Executive Director, Knox Heritage

A longtime Knoxvillian, Christine has a decade of nonprofit experience under her belt, and served in numerous development roles at the Tennessee Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation before joining the Knox Heritage team in 2021. Prior to becoming a staff member, Christine joined the Knox Heritage Development & Marketing Committee as a volunteer in 2018. She credits her maternal grandmother, Ruby – who was born and raised in Knoxville – for her love of Knoxville history and architecture.


Presented by Lindsay Crockett, Historic Preservation Planner, Knoxville-Knox County Planner 

Lindsay Crockett is the Design Review Program Manager and a Principal Planner with Knoxville-Knox County Planning. She staffs the City and County Historic Zoning Commissions and the Design Review Board. Lindsay is a Knoxville native who received a BA in Art History from Sewanee: the University of the South and an MS in Historic Preservation from Clemson University and the College of Charleston.

10:15 a.m. | SESSION 1: “Alphabet Housing in Oak Ridge"

Presented by Ray Smith, Oak Ridge Historian

1 AIA LU Credit

During the Manhattan Project Oak Ridge grew so fast that a young boy is said to have not been able to find his home when he returned from school because an entire subdivision had been built while he was away for only a part of a day. At one time there was a house being completed every 30 minutes! Cemesto houses, flat-top houses, Victory cottages, hutments, trailers, A, B, C, (one, two and three bedrooms), D, E, F, G houses, and even more styles were included. In August 1945 there were 75,000 people living in Oak Ridge making it the fifth largest city in Tennessee and it was not even on any map!

11:15 a.m. | SESSION 2: “Why Modernism? A Note on the TVA Architecture”

Presented by Avigail Sachs, Associate Professor, College of Architecture + Design, University of Tennessee

1 AIA LU Credit

In its first two decades, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) had the resources to design and build exceptional architecture. These oeuvre includes modernist powerhouses and visitor centers as well as “regionally” inspired houses and cabins. The TVA also preserved existing industrial buildings – mills and barns – and located them in proximity to its newly built dams. Using Norris Dam and its vicinity as an example this paper will examine the connection between these aesthetic choices and a central TVA dilemma: how to reconcile centralized, top-down, planning with individual freedom, the bedrock of democracy.

12:15 p.m. | LUNCH - provided by Ham'n Goodys

If you have any dietary restrictions, please note that there is an opportunity to indicate your needs during the registration process.

Thank You

1:30 p.m. | SESSION 3: “Making Sense of the Mid Century"

Presented by Philip Thomason, Principal and Owner – Thomason & Associates

1 AIA LU Credit

What to survey? What is significant?” Consultant Phil Thomason will discuss the challenges of surveying and assessing the significance of resources from the mid-20th century and will present case studies of mid-century surveys of Knoxville, Little Rock, and other communities

2:30 p.m. | SESSION 4: “Bruce McCarty’s Early Residential Work”

Presented by Doug McCarty FAIA, Chairman Emeritus, MHM Architects

1 AIA LU Credit

Mr. Doug McCarty, FAIA, will focus on his father’s early mid-century modern residential work. This work is recognized as some of the most important in our region. Bruce McCarty gained national attention for his innovative, medium-cost modular home designs promoted by the National Broadcasting Company, the Hotpoint Corporation, and the National Association of Homebuilders. Since the late 1950s, several hundred of these McCarty designed houses have been built throughout the country. During the 1960s, his father continued to design a number of noteworthy custom houses which Doug will be presenting, including the home he grew up in. These early mid-century designs laid the foundation for significant public projects that later shaped the landscape of East Tennessee.



Thank you to our 2023 East Tennessee Preservation Conference Sponsors