Tag Archives: mansion

Haslam Adds $500K to Budget for Blount Mansion Restoration

In a trip to Knoxville Friday, Gov. Bill Haslam announced he would allocate $500,000 in his proposed state budget for 2012-13 to the Blount Mansion Association’s capital campaign. The News Sentinel notes the first state constitution was written at the Blount Mansion.
“I was thinking while I was just standing in the office where the Tennessee constitution was written that I had just left a meeting where people were arguing about adding amendments to the state constitution,” he said. “It reminds you that whether you are a governor, mayor, city council member, you do not start from scratch, it is a relay race. Your job is to do everything you can to make your city, county or state a better place.”
The home of William Blount is significant, the governor said. Blount, a North Carolina-native, signed the Declaration of Independence and was Tennessee’s first territorial governor.
“That is why the state wants to be involved in this, it matters that the state help preserve the place where it literally began,” he said.
Haslam said that when studying history, ideas are always important, but so are places.
“History becomes real when you can visit these places,” he said.
Patricia Brake Rutenberg, executive director of Blount Mansion Association, said the mansion received a matching $250,000 Saving America’s Treasure grant from the National Park Service. The Blount Mansion Association is engaged in a capital campaign to raise funds to conserve and restore the 220-year-old house
Rutenberg said $1 million, including the grant money, has been raised, but $2 million is needed to sufficiently restore the facility
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Blount Mansion Gets Grant, Provides ‘Awareness Opportunity’ for Corker

Sen. Bob Corker paid a visit Monday to a downtown home once occupied by another U.S. senator — more than 200 years ago, the News Sentinel reports.
“It’s a great awareness opportunity for me,” said the Tennessee Republican at the Blount Mansion, 200 W. Hill Ave. “It’s a great piece of history. I’m really just here to bring attention to it.”
Anne Pittenger, secretary of the Blount Mansion Association’s board of directors, said the house was built in 1792 by William Blount, then the governor of the Southwest Territory. Blount went on to become the first U.S. senator from Tennessee.
“That’s one of the reasons we wanted Sen. Corker to visit, because William Blount was our first U.S. senator from the state,” Pittenger said.
Victor Ashe, former Knoxville mayor and U.S. ambassador to Poland, and Congressman John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, were present at the meeting.
….Because of a recent grant, the Blount Mansion Association will be able to continue their goal of education. The National Park Service awarded a $250,000 grant, titled the Save America’s Treasures Grant, to the association.
“There’s a fight for every dollar out there,” said (U.S.Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan. “You wouldn’t have gotten this grant if you all weren’t doing a really good job.”
Not only will the building getnew wiring, new plumbing and a much needed state-of-the-art fire-suppressant system, but the association plans on increasing its educational reach.