Russell house wings may be demolished

The wings on Avery Russell House may be demolished.

“Our goal is to get the house to its original condition … We want to take it back to the original four sides of the building, clean up the rest of it and structurally get it to where people can enter and exit safely,” David Smoak, town administrator, said.

Sue Stuhl, Parks and Leisure Services director, said Brewer, Ingram, Fuller Architects was working on the project.

The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Valerie E. Altzer, archeologist in direct charge, said, in a preliminary archeological report in March, David Campbell had a frontier station in the area in 1876, while the house itself may date to around 1820. During its time as an inn, various people including politicians stayed there. It stands near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road.

Stuhl said the site is important because it is one of the oldest buildings in Farragut.

“The house and land have witnessed much over the years, from conflicts between the early settlers and American Indians to the Civil War’s Battle of Campbell Station to the incorporation of the town of Farragut,” she said.

“We don’t know too many details about it,” Stuhl said about the potential plans. “We don’t have a plan yet for taking down the additions, nor a cost or a schedule. This is something that the architect is working on at present.”

Smoak said the architects were working on cost estimates.

“We’re not going to get [the estimates] back until September or October so it’s going to be some time before we know what the cost estimates are going to be, and then the Board will decide,” he said.

Stuhl said the possible removal of the wings would make sense for two reasons. One is they were not part of the house’s original structure and secondly, they are deteriorating.

“Take it back to the Campbell Station era,” Stuhl said regarding what the Town might like to do. “We’re still working on getting it stabilized.”

Smoak said the Town probably would aim to let people tour the home but would not necessarily find a final use for the home right away.

“I think this will give us some time to determine what we’d like to do long-term for the inside of the house,” Smoak said.

He said the Town may eventually take down the building currently used by Doggie Day Care behind the building.

“The Board of Mayor and Aldermen will have to make that ultimate determination, but I do think when we look at the overall site process and the site planning process, it will probably be without that building there, so give it more space, more green space for the area and parking as well, but there’s no time frame on that right now,” Smoak said.

The National Register of Historic Places added the Avery Russell house in 1975.