Work has begun to remove ten structures at the Elkmont Historic District in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The buildings are located near the former Wonderland Hotel which was destroyed by a fire in 2016.
The Elkmont Historic District was placed on the National Historic Register in 1994. Seventy-four buildings stood there including the Wonderland Hotel. Nineteen of those are being preserved. To date, two structures have been fully restored and four have been preserved. In addition, removal work in the Society Hill and Millionaires’ Row section has been completed.
The Elkmont District began as a Appalachian pioneer community, logging town and later as a resort community with the Wonderland Hotel. It was placed on the National Historic Register in 1994.
“I am proud of the work that we’re continuing in Elkmont as we move forward with both the preservation of the rich cultural history of the area and the restoration of unique, natural communities,” said Smokies superintendent Cassius Cash.
The ten structures are located along an administrative road leading to the former site of the Wonderland Hotel. The administrative road will be closed to pedestrian use during the demolition work to accommodate heavy equipment.
In a separate project, park staff plan to begin the stabilization work of the four Daisy Town structures in fall of 2018. The Daisy Town area, Elkmont Cemetery, Spence Cabin, Appalachian Clubhouse, and Elkmont Campground will remain open throughout this work. Campers should expect noise throughout the day, but all quiet hours will be observed.
Crews have already salvaged usable items from the soon-to-be demolished structures for use in preserving other historic buildings. The demolition work aims to lift the structures from its infrastructure so that the foundations and chimneys will be preserved in place.