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Cowan Cottage

UT’s newly renovated Cowan Cottage was honored as one of this year’s “Fantastic Fifteen” at the recent Knox Heritage Preservation Awards Ceremony.

The awards are presented each fall to noted historic preservation projects, historic properties, and individuals in Knox County that symbolize what is possible when historic buildings are restored for new purposes.

Renovated as part of the Strong Hall campus project, the converted cottage is now a one-story, 800-square-foot space with a vaulted ceiling. The handmade exterior brick laid in American Common Bond was restored from the original structure.

The adapted reuse of the cottage will be as a student-oriented space for classes, meetings, and occasional exhibitions.

The one-and-a-half story cottage was built as part of the Cowan estate around 1879. It was constructed in the Folk Victorian style with a cross-gabled roof, decorative wooden cornices, segmented arches on the windows, and gabled dormer windows on the upper floor.

In 1923 the house was first listed as a separate address and in 1925 it was listed as 701 16th Street, its current address.

The house was used to accommodate UT instructors and staff until 1941. The last permanent residents of the house, Foster and Edna Arnett, moved into the house in the 1940s, and Edna Arnett continued to live there until 1945.

Between 1990 and 1998 student organizations utilized the house, but it had been out of use since then.


Brooke Krempa (865-214-7662,