11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Chattanooga State Office Building

Year Listed: 2014
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Threat: Demolition

Chattanooga State Office Building

Significance

The Chattanooga State Office Building was constructed in 1950 in the Art Moderne style to serve as headquarters for the Interstate Life Insurance company. Its exterior features ruby granite and grayish-white limestone and a bronze frieze that is said to represent the sturdy mountain character of southeast Tennesseans. Its interior once featured a penthouse lounge, auditorium and basement bowling alley for employees’ recreation.

Today, the building is a showpiece in Chattanooga’s downtown that represents the past strength of the insurance industry in the city, as well the innovations that were taking place in the workplace in the 1950s. The state of Tennessee acquired the building in 1981 and transferred it to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) in December 2013. Rather than making building repairs and upgrades, UTC plans to demolish it.