Norris Dam is one of three Tennessee sites added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 20, state officials said Wednesday.
The Tennessee Historical Commission announced the addition of the three sites. Besides Norris Dam, the other two sites are Jefferson Street Historic District in Brownsville in Haywood County and Kenner Manor Historic District in Nashville.
Norris Dam is referred to as the Norris Hydroelectric Project. Built in Anderson and Campbell counties between 1933 and 1936, the Norris Hydroelectric Project was the first project for the newly established Tennessee Valley Authority, a press release said. Named after Nebraska Senator George Norris, who advocated for public power facilities, the dam and associated properties provided electricity to the rural areas of Tennessee and the surrounding states, helped with seasonal flood control, and provided power for wartime industries.
Norris Hydroelectric Project had a dramatic impact on the landscape since people were displaced when Norris Lake was flooded, recreation areas were created, and the community of Norris was built, the press release said.
In addition to the straight gravity concrete dam, the project resulted in the building of a powerhouse and control building and a recreational area. Roland Wank, a well-known architect, designed the project for TVA in the Streamlined Moderne style.
Norris Hydroelectric Project was listed in the National Register for its state, local, and national importance, the press release said. It’s the first of 25 National Register nominations that the TVA is working to complete.
“The National Register is an honorary recognition for time-honored places that enrich our communities and make them unique,” said Patrick McIntyre, state historic preservation officer and executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “We hope this recognition helps generate and reinforce an appreciation for these special properties, so they can be retained for present and future generations of Tennesseans.”
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The Tennessee Historical Commission, as the State Historic Preservation Office, administers the program in Tennessee.
Here is information about the other two sites that were recently added:
Jefferson Street Historic District
The Jefferson Street Historic District is a commercial area in Brownsville, Haywood County. Located east of the main commercial area of the city, this district represents the commercial history of Brownsville’s African American community. The 16 buildings that comprise the district are one- and two-stories in height with little ornamentation. From about 1910 to 1970, this area was the primary commercial and social area for the city’s African American community. After the closing of the nearby Carver High School and desegregation of the schools, the prominence of the commercial district declined. Today, the Dunbar-Carver Museum in Brownsville tells the story of the African American community in the city.
Kenner Manor Historic District
The 158 houses in the Kenner Manor Historic District represent an excellent example of early 20th century suburban development in Nashville. Located about four miles west of the city center, development began in 1914 when the Kenner Manor Land Company platted the first part of the neighborhood. Later developments, such as the 1929 Clearview plat, changed the focus of the neighborhood from streetcars to automobiles, resulting in detached garages being constructed. Houses in the district were built in a variety of styles such as Colonial Revival, English Cottage Revival, Ranch, and Tudor Revival. The neighborhood retains much of its historic materials, design, setting, and feeling, and is indicative of evolving trends in suburban residential planning and design over the course of the early to mid-20th century.
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