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The Former Farragut Hotel May Be Returning to Downtown Knoxville

March 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM | by | ()

The historic Farragut Building in Knoxville, Tennesee, may be reverted back to its original use as a popular downtown hotel. The Beaux Arts building, constructed in 1919, was the original home of The Farragut Hotel, replacing an earlier hotel on the same site. Northern California-based Halo Hospitality Group has stepped forward with a proposal to convert the building to a 190-room full service hotel.

The hotel’s location, at 530 South Gay Street, sits within a larger historic district in Downtown Knoxville that is recorded in the National Register of Historic Places. The Farragut Hotel was named after Navy Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, a Tennessee native whose 60+ year naval career began when he was nine-years old (so says Wikipiedia. Guess they didn't have any age restrictions back then. Regarded as a hero many times over, why not have a hotel in his honor?

Local news archives say the hotel has hosted some pretty important guests over the years from Babe Ruth to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Halo Hospitality has made it clear they wish to restore the hotel to its former glory which is great news for Knoxville locals and visitors alike.

The hotel was designed by New York based Architect William Lee Stoddart, who boasted a rather long list of hotel clients across the Mid-Atlantic and the South. Several of his commissions are hotels today (Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore; Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston) and most of his works are national landmarks. There has been interest over the years by Knoxville locals to restore their beloved Farragut, and we hope they get their wish.

The project is in the early stages of redevelopment, and there is no word as to a possible brand for the new hotel nor if the hotel’s namesake will be retained. Seems like the Admiral earned it. Admiral Farragut is credited with the famous quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” With the hotel then?

Photo: Knoxnews

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