Reimagining Chattanooga’s James A. Henry Building

Professor James Henry surrounded with members of the graduating class | Photo via MTSU Walker Library

Did someone say makeover? The Chattanooga Design Studio, in partnership with UTK architecture + design students, took on the project of reimagining the James A. Henry Building located in Chattanooga’s Westside.

 📕History Lesson: What is the James A. Henry Building?

The James A. Henry Building is one of Chattanooga’s most historic sites, located at 1200 Grove St. 

In 1872, the Howard School became the first public school in Chattanooga that allowed white and African American students. Professor James A. Henry became the first African American principal of the school.

In honor of Henry, the James A. Henry Elementary School was later constructed, but closed its doors in 1980. Many renovations were made, yet ultimately failed throughout the 90s. 

🖊️Cue the reimagination design projects

The Chattanooga Design Studio + UTK architecture students are hoping to not only save the building from being torn down, but also to redesign it with a purpose that would aid the local community. 

Throughout their fall semester, UTK architecture students have worked closely with mentors from the Chattanooga Design Studio + members of the local community to influence their designs

Monday night, students were finally able to present their hard work and designs to the local community at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. 

⚒️What’s Next?

Plans have not been set in stone, but architects have been hired to revitalize the James A. Henry Building + were present at Monday night’s presentation to gather ideas from the students’ designs

Here’s a look at some of the design layouts.

Photo via NOOGAtoday 
Photo via NOOGAtoday
Photo via NOOGAtoday
Photo via NOOGAtoday
Photo via NOOGAtoday
Photo via NOOGAtoday