UT accepting bids for Eugenia Williams property

The 10,800-square-foot home was given to the University back in 1998, after the death of its owner Eugenia Williams. / Source: University of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knox Heritage announced the University of Tennessee is accepting bids on the Eugenia Williams house.

"We believe that requiring a preservation easement helps provide some safeguards to keep the property preserved. I remain hopeful this bidding process will bring forth an enthusiastic preservationist to restore this unique property in our community," UT interim President Randy Boyd said.

An open house will be held on Sept. 5 and Sept. 12 from 10 a..m to 2 p.m.

Those interested in viewing the property are asked to make an appointment at 844-660-8100. The state will accept sealed bids until 1:30 p.m. CST on September 26.

The 10,800-square-foot home located at 4848 Lyons View Pike was given to the University back in 1998, after the death of its owner Eugenia Williams. She willed it to be used as a place for the system's president to live.

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Since then the homes have been in limbo.

“For the past 20 years, we have spent countless hours exploring options for the Eugenia Williams home that would fit within the stipulations of the will,” UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson said.

Back in 2018 UT brought together a 15-person committee to see to how to best use the property. Their goal ultimately to turn the estate into a retreat center.

Late last year the University hired a firm to examine the current home, and determine how much renovations would cost.

The firm came back with these options: demolish the home and rebuild for $9.9 million, renovate the home for $12 million, which is more than what the University initially thought.

“While the house is an interesting example of domestic design and construction, it would require extensive and costly repairs to make it habitable again and even more to bring it up to today’s standards of comfort and codes," the report said.

Knox Heritage said they have been working with UT to protect the home from being demolished.

More information can be found here.

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