Renovations are underway at the historic but dilapidated Alexander Inn on East Madison Road near Knoxville with a goal to convert the former inn into a senior living center. Workers have demolished the inn’s ballroom, dining room and kitchen since the wood was rotted from a leaking roof. Alexander Inn had been vacant for over two decades, thus falling victim to weather, vandals and animals. According to project manager Shea Ramsey, work to get rid of asbestos and mold could last several weeks. Richard E. Dover, owner and general manager of Family Pride Corporation, anticipates construction work to take up to one year.
During the Second World War, Alexander Inn hosted such notable physicists as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Enricho Fermi, who were part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. Historic preservationists had petitioned to save the building for more than 10 years.
According to Richard E. Dover, the $6.5 million assisted living center will offer 60 units and include an Alzheimer’s and dementia wing. Family Pride Corporation received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.
Richard E. Dover and Family Pride Corporation, a Loudon company specializing in preservation and restoration of historic buildings, purchased the structure in May. Family Pride has received a 90 percent, 10-year tax break that will be used to build a new road, help remove asbestos, and move a storm sewer under the building, among other things.
In a recent statement, Richard E. Dover said that he is overwhelmed by the support and interest offered by the community for preserving and saving the old inn. He hopes to create a real asset for the community as well as provide affordable and comfortable housing for retired seniors.
Richard E. Dover and Family Pride Corporation have been preserving and restoring historic buildings in Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida since 1993.