Andrew Johnson Hotel

912 S. Gay St., Knoxville, Tennessee


Andrew Johnson Building%2C cropped.JPG

Now houses offices for Knox County Schools and other county departments; designed by Baumann & Bauma

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Street View 


he Adair Corporation of Atlanta began planning a large hotel (initially named the "Tennessee Terrace") at the corner of Gay and Hill as early as 1918, but lack of financing continuously stalled the project.[3] The hotel was designed by Baumann & Baumann, an architectural firm responsible for a number of prominent buildings and houses in the Knoxville area, including the Knoxville Post Office on Main and the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Vine. By 1927, only seven stories of the hotel had been completed, and construction was briefly halted because of financial issues. J. Basil Ramsey, president of the Holston Union Bank, managed to raise the necessary funds, however, and the hotel was completed shortly afterward.[3] Business at the Andrew Johnson received a boost with the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1932 and the formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933. The hotel was located a few blocks from U.S. Route 441, which connects Knoxville to the national park's main entrance. TVA's headquarters, also located a few blocks from the hotel, drew a steady stream of curious foreign diplomats and activists to Knoxville during the 1930s and 1940s, among them French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, who stayed at the hotel in 1945.[8] The rise of automobile travel in the late 1920s brought large numbers of travellers to Knoxville via the Dixie Highway, with many preferring the Andrew Johnson over the rough motels along the highway's Kingston Pike stretch.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 9, 1980
Reference number
NR name
Johnson, Andrew, Hotel
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival; Other architectural type; Second Rennaissance Revival
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Period of significance
Significant years
1926; 1930

Update Log 

  • February 9, 2021: New photo from Michael Miller
  • February 9, 2021: New photo from Michael Miller
  • February 9, 2021: New photos from Michael Miller
  • June 6, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • October 27, 2015: Photo imported by pam phillips
  • October 25, 2015: Photo imported by pam phillips

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