The Tennessee Preservation Trust (TPT) will hold its 15th annual Tennessee Statewide Preservation Conference at the Read House Hotel in Chattanooga April 30 through May 2, 2015.
The conference brings together preservationists from across the state for educational sessions, tours and networking opportunities. The annual conference travels to a different host city each year, showcasing the historic character of a different community. This year’s program will include TPT’s popular Historic Preservation 101 for Realtors course and a review of WWI Buildings in Tennessee. It will also feature several sessions on adaptive reuse, the practice of reusing a historic structure for a purpose other than which it was originally designed for.
The conference will be held at The Read House Historic Inn & Suites in downtown Chattanooga. The hotel opened in 1926, built on the site of another hotel, the Crutchfield House, which opened in 1847 directly across from the railroad terminal. In its almost 90-year history, historic figures such as Winston Churchill, Charles Laughton, Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Al Capone stayed at the 10-story brick and terra cotta building. Designed in the Georgian style by Holabird and Roche, the hotel was built with lavish appointments now too costly to duplicate: terrazzo floors inlaid with marble; paneling of quarter sawed black walnut, carved and gilded woodwork, mirrors recessed in massive arches; Waterford chandeliers glittering from the 25-foot ceiling of the Silver Ballroom and a lobby beautifully defined by its soaring columns. In 1977, the Read House was included in the National Register of Historic Places as an example of period architecture and decorative art.