Local group trying to save historic Lookout Mountain home
Many people travel to Lookout Mountain to take pictures of the Cravens House, which served as an observation point during the Civil War. But some say the home that sits just a few hundred feet away is just as important.
Lookout Mountain residents are fighting plans to replace a piece of Chattanooga history with a parking lot.
The National Park Service owns the home that once belonged to the wife of a Chattanooga mayor and sits close to a Civil War landmark.
Many people travel to Lookout Mountain to take pictures of the Cravens House, which served as an observation point during the Civil War.
But some say the home that sits just a few hundred feet away is just as important.
Covered by vines and overgrown trees, the house, known as Littleholme, was built by Ethel Hardy.
Hardy was an animal advocate, who helped at least 100 boys attend college.
Her husband, Chattanooga Mayor Richard Hardy, passed away shortly before the home was built.
“She built herself a new house,” Andy Fowler tells Channel 3. “She lived in that house from 1928 until about 1947, then another family, the Williams family, got into it; they live there until 1990.”
The house, just feet from a Civil War landmark, has been abandoned for over 25 years and could soon be torn down.
“They want to remove the parking lot that's in front of the Cravens House and take it back to the Civil War era design,” Fowler says. “It will be all field.”
“They want to tear this down and turn it into a parking lot,” adds Fowler.
It could take more than a million dollars to restore, a bill the National Park Service says is too steep to pay.
Andy Fowler believes it can be salvaged for less and has an idea for how to pay for it.
He wants the National Park Service to allow an organization to study the home, submit a proposal for reuse and make the repairs. The work would be funded through the nonprofit organization.
“It'll be sad,” Fowler says. “I've been around enough houses in my life to know when a house is in a completely unrecoverable shape and when one is in decent shape and can be rescued.”
Fowler and about 500 other Chattanoogans have a Facebook page they are using in hopes of gaining public support to save the home.
The park service confirms plans to tear the home down, but a date has not been set.