Friday, May 20, 2016

Richard Dover, Knoxville Property Developer, Honors Veterans with New Project

Richard Dover of Knoxville, Tennessee, has renovated and repurposed dozens of historic buildings during his career in property development. He takes history seriously and believes that his projects reflect a deep commitment to preservation. In this brief interview, Dover answers some of the most common questions regarding his most recent project, a senior living center housed inside the old Knoxville High School.

Q: Why the high school?

Richard Dover, Knoxville developer: From a practical standpoint, the building has a near perfect layout. Each of the former classrooms is an ideal apartment size, there is already a large kitchen and dining area, and plenty of campus space for outdoor recreation. But more important is the historical significance of the building itself.

Q: What do you know about the history of the Historic Knoxville High School?

Richard Dover, Knoxville developer: The school first opened in 1910 and remained an academic institution until 1951. Countless important figures from Knoxville’s history attended high school within these walls. I am hoping that some of those former students may wind up residents once the renovations are complete. I think it would be absolutely amazing to hear some of the stories they would have to tell.

Q: Will the doughboy statue in front of the school remain?

Richard Dover, Knoxville developer: Absolutely. This is one of the area’s most important landmarks. The statue was erected just after World War I as a way to honor and recognize the casualties of the 117th Infantry Division, many of whom were Knoxville High School graduates. In addition to keeping the statue, I have been working closely with the Knox Preservation Society and Mayor Burchett on a new memorial that will feature the Charters of Freedom.

Q: What are some of the amenities you have planned for the new senior living center?

Richard Dover, Knoxville developer: Aside from the 90 apartments, we will have a wellness center, a piano bar, and spa. Each of our residents will have access to car service and may participate in any of our weekly planned activities. During the spring and summer, we will have rooftop gardens.