OAK RIDGE'S ALEXANDER INN RE-OPENS AS SENIOR HOUSING FACILITY
Oak Ridge, Tennessee (JFK+50) During World War II, official visitors who came here to the Atomic City were housed in the Alexander Inn. Among those visitors were "generals, scientists and federal officials involved in the Manhattan Project."
Messy Nessy describes the Inn, originally known as The Guest House, as "one of the few remnants of the original Secret City."
Among the notables who were accommodated at the Guest House were Enrico Fermi, General Leslie Groves and Robert Oppenheimer.
The Inn has sat dormant since the early 1990s. Our daughter performed at the nearby Oak Ridge Playhouse during the early 2000s and we walked over to the Alexander Inn which was shuttered and in run-down condition. As we read the historic marker which described the importance of the Inn, we could not help but feel sad that nothing had been done to preserve it.*
A few years later, the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board leased the old Inn to Dover Development Company for a ten year period. On Wednesday, September 23, 2015, Rick Dover, head of the company, offered a "sneak-preview" of the restored Inn.
It will now be called the Alexander Guest House. It was renovated at a cost of $7.5 million. Dover describes the facility as "a national treasure" because "it played such a pivotal role in the history of our country."
Involved in the effort was the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance which received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the OR Industrial Development Board.
The Alexander Guest House has 64 apartments. Mr. Dover adds, "We've saved and restored much of it as humanly possible." With more than half of the apartments already reserved, the Guest House is scheduled to open next month.
The AGH is located at 210 E. Madison Road in Oak Ridge, TN. It is near Jackson Square. The facility is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. It was originally constructed in 1943.
*We cannot locate the photographs we made on that occasion, but will post them when we are able to find them.
"Alexander Guest House-Oak Ridge, TN," Senior Solutions, www.ssmgrp.com/
"Historic day at Alexander: After 2 years, $7.5 million, inn takes on new life," by Bob Fowler, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 25, 2015.
"Inside America's Secret Atomic City," by Messy Nessy, November 14, 2013, www.messynessychic.com/