Fort Sanders homeowners discuss issues to preserve future

Fort Sanders homeowners discuss issues to preserve future

Posted:
The Fort Sanders neighborhood is better known as Knoxville's front porch. The Fort Sanders neighborhood is better known as Knoxville's front porch.
Residents from the past and present gathered Sunday at a neighborhood homecoming. Residents from the past and present gathered Sunday at a neighborhood homecoming.
Neighbors highlighted important topics that need to be tackled to protect Fort Sanders' future. Neighbors highlighted important topics that need to be tackled to protect Fort Sanders' future.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Homeowners in a historic Knoxville neighborhood are coming together to tackle issues they think need to be brought up to city leaders before another home is torn down.

The Fort Sanders neighborhood is better known as Knoxville's front porch.

Residents from the past and present gathered Sunday at a neighborhood homecoming.

"I lived at 1525 Laurel Avenue, which is like three houses up the street, and it's now gone. It's not there anymore," said former resident Vivian Slaughter.

While this neighborhood has lost a few battles, officials with Knox Heritage say Fort Sanders is endangered.

"UT and Covenant Health are both proposing demolition of protected structures that are in the neighborhood," said Knox Heritage Executive Director Kim Trent.

Neighbors highlighted important topics that need to be tackled to protect Fort Sanders' future.

"Safety is the biggest issue and historic preservation," said homeowner Justin Murray.

These issues will be presented to city leaders and institutions.

"It's trying to find common ground with the university so they can grow in a way that's sustainable not only to the university, but to the neighborhood as well," said Stanton Webster, president of the Historic Fort Sanders Neighborhood Association.

Homeowners say all they want is to save memories made inside these homes.

"I've enjoyed it and had a lot of life experiences here. I think that's what touches home for everyone and touches everyone's heart," added Murray.

Residents voted on different issues that were compiled during past forums. Organizers say this was the perfect opportunity to revisit these topics before talks of construction begins.

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