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Historic Russell-Campbell home discussed

Farragut’s Economic Development Committee discussed the future of the historic Russell-Campbell House at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road at its July 7 meeting.

The house and property are for sale.

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen has discussed purchasing the house and moving it to land behind Town Hall. But according to Smoak, the family doesn’t seem to be open to that idea at the time.

Nancy Howard, a stay-at-home mother and Tanglewood subdivision, Loudon County, resident, asked why the Town wouldn’t purchase the entire property.

“It’s too cost prohibitive,” Brad Fitch, South Bank, said of the estimated $2 million price tag.

Jim Holladay, EDC chair, agreed.

“There would be a tremendous backlash,” he said, adding the buzz among community members seemed to be about a community center, not a historic home.

“If you already had a community center, you might stand a chance,” Fitch said.

Alderman Bob Markli pointed out the home’s proximity to Kingston Pike, adding that the building’s place on the National Registry of Historic Places didn’t guarantee its safety.

Markli added any buyer of the property could tear down the home, as could the state if the Pike were to someday be widened.

However, the EDC should have a voice in the future of the home, the members decided.

“It does have a potential economic value,” Ginny McLain-Tate, BB&T, said of the home and the property.

The property is being marketed for commercial use. If the Town were to purchase the house, it likely would be renovated and used as the new location of Farragut Folklife Museum.

Also on the agenda were large entrance signs planned for the major roadway entrances to the Town.

Smoak said he planned to bring three different designs before the EDC, then give their recommendations to the Board for final approval.

The Town budgeted $50,000 this year for the signs.


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