Drawing of proposed UTSI Main Building based on phone call description from Architect John Harwood to a California Art Group to get a quickly prepared drawing to show to gain funding for UTSI building. It is amazingly accurate and impressed the funding sources. Earlier after State financing was voted, Malcolm Rice the UT architect and planner had suggested a brick school house type building (it looked much like a fort) located off the lake shore near the entrance to the UTSI property suitable for the 12 faculty plus one director (that seems a bit biblical) plus 200 students which were figures used in the initial planning documents. Since the AEDC facilities would be available for research, no labs were envisioned. I showed this sketch to Dr. Goethert and he was appalled that it did not take advantage of the lake location and looked like a country grade school. Then John Harwood of Nashville was hired as the architect for the project. John looked at the area and recommended that the site be the land to the west of the heavily wooded area that had been selected for the Von Karman Institute and now was the Girl Scout Camp Tanassee. Much of the suggested land had been cleared by the Stete Game and Fish Agency and was used with USAF permission for growing grain to feed the wild game in the area. Later he came up with a suggestion of a bunch of small independent buildings each with a good view of the lake. So in a meeting with Goethert, Rice, Harwood, Cook, Dicks and me, I suggested that in view of the rain in the area, covered walkways would be needed between the several buildings. Goethert spoke up and asked if anyone was familiar with the Circus Maximus Athens Greece ancient building. Malcolm Rice strode the the blackboard and sketched out a semi-circular builing and Harwood stated that he would work on such a concept and thus the shape of the UTSI building. Later Harwood won a prestigous architectual award for the design. Harwood also supervised the construction of the building. John used his own funds to hire a consultant from MIT to assure that the auditorium had good acoustics and it does. Unfortunatly, Harwood erred in that the people in the first rows of the balcony could not see the stage. The University refused to pay a portion of his company's fee for architectural servies fo compensate for that error. But Harwood was very loyal and visited UTSI occasionally to check on his creation. When the major addition was made in the 1980s, Harwood wanted to do it but another Nashville architect was selected. When the UTSI site of 365 acres was selected, the Air Force had to declare that the site would never be needed for AEDC and made it surplus property through the EPA. Then UT and the State were to apply to EPA for the land for the purposes of an educational institution. But the town of Sewanee noting that the land was available applied for the land as a landfill site. Fortunately the State and UT were chosen and we had to notify EPA every five years for twenty years of what was being done with the site to assure that it was being used for educational purposes. John Dicks and I had the pleasant task of taking the Deed for the land to the Franklin County Courthouse for filing. At one time the University proposed that lots for faculty housing be made available on the west side of Rollins Creek but that never developed. An Industrial Park was established on that side of Rollins Creek initially funded by Billy Bob Carter of the UTSI Support council. The road from the AEDC highway to UTSI was just a path through the woods from Camp Forrest days. Goethert wanted a four lane highway for that road but it became a good two lane road funded jointly by the State and the USAF. The road from Estill Springs was a project of Bob Kamm and was funded by the State from Industrial Development Funds. When President Andy Holt visited, he always stated that UTSI was the prettiest campus in the world. During his fine banquet speeches he usually pointed to his wife and noted that he had "over-married"! Andy Holt was a very good friend of Nelson Forrester, a lawyer who also did much for UTSI as a Support Council Member. When we got word that President Holt was to address some meeting in the area, Doc Goethert always hoped that he would visit UTSI for discussion and tour prior to the meeting. However, on several occasions we learned that on the appointed day Andy was spirited off to some obscure pond for an afternoon of fishing with his friend Nelson Forrester. When we heard this, Doc Goethert would just sniff but say nothing bad about Holt or Forrester.

previous page
Powered by MSN TV
next page