Cleveland Historic District named to National Register

By BRIAN GRAVES brian.graves@clevelandbanner.com
Posted 5/19/17

The Tennessee Historical Commission announced Thursday the addition of the Cleveland Commercial Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

It now joins 21 other National …

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Cleveland Historic District named to National Register

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The Tennessee Historical Commission announced Thursday the addition of the Cleveland Commercial Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

It now joins 21 other National Register designees in Bradley County.

Cleveland’s downtown was one of eight Tennessee locations given the special designation during its most recent list of the nation’s historic locations.

“As Tennessee grows, it is important to recognize the unique historic places that help define us,” said Patrick McIntyre, state historic preservation officer and executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “The National Register is an honorary designation that emphasizes the importance of these special properties, [which are] worth maintaining and passing along to future generations.”

The description of the district by the National Register is as follows:

“The 65 buildings that make up the Cleveland Commercial Historic District represent the area that was historically the social, commercial, and governmental area of Bradley County. Cleveland developed on a grid pattern of streets with the county courthouse at the center.

“As the city grew a variety of new buildings and styles emerged. Buildings range in date from the 1850s to the 1960s and include Second Empire, Italianate, Classical Revival, and Mid-century Modern detailing. Many of the commercial buildings feature corbelled brick cornices, hood moldings, brackets, and large windows on their upper stories, while storefronts on the first story have been changed over the years.

“In 1965 the county built a new courthouse in the modernist Brutalism style. Although the architectural styles and functions of the buildings have changed, the area still functions as an important part of the city.”

“MainStreet Cleveland is thrilled that the National Register has approved the Cleveland Commercial Historic District for the National Register of Historic Places,” said MainStreet Cleveland Director Sharon Marr. “This will be a tremendous help in marketing downtown to visitors and businesses and it will also assist property owners who want to place individual buildings on the National Register. We have a wealth of history in downtown and being designated as a National Register District will showcase these historic properties.”

Marr added the process to get the district on the National Register has been ongoing for more than a year and a half.

“We appreciate so much the work of Melissa Mortimer, historic preservation planner, and Jennifer Williams at Southeast Tennessee Development District for overseeing this project.”

The other recent Tennessee Historic designees are: LaFollette Coke Ovens (LaFollette — Campbell County); Kern’s Bakery (Knoxville — Knox County); The Science Building (Cookeville — Putnam County); William A. McMurry House (Springfield — Robertson County); Rock of Ages Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (Memphis — Shelby County); Charles Davis House (Collierville — Shelby County); and Memphis Federation of Musicians Local 71 Building (Memphis — Shelby County).

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