Allandale Barn-Kingsport,TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Countrydragon
N 36° 33.107 W 082° 37.797
17S E 354121 N 4046387
Quick Description: Historic White Barn on Allandale Manison land near Kingsport, Tennessee.
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 12/1/2009 9:45:13 AM
Waymark Code: WM7TFQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member SearchN
Views: 3

Long Description:

Allandale Mansion was the dream home of Ruth and Harvey Brooks. They built and furnished a distinctive home on grounds which were designed by the same man who served as the landscape architect for President Dwight Eisenhower.

Allandale Mansion and its grounds were left to the city by Harvey Brooks when he died in 1969. One of the conditions of his will was that Allandale "shall be open to the public and held for public use and benefit." In 1983, the city government supported a group of citizens in their efforts to renovate the facilities and develop the use of the facility. Since then, Allandale has made steady progress toward meeting the vision of Harvey and Ruth Brooks.

Timashenko, landscape architect to President Dwight Eisenhower, designed and managed the details for the original Allandale grounds. Mr. Wassum [of Marion, Virginia], who also landscaped portions of the White House, was hired to arrange and plant the boxwoods and formal gardens. Allandale Mansion was planned around existing trees [which were by then centuries old], and additional large trees were imported by flat-bed truck and planted throughout the property.

Two large ponds were dug primarily to provide fire protection for the house, but also to beautify the grounds. Original plans also called for a substantial swimming pool complete with Grecian columns and statues.

In recent years, additional bedding plants [as well as dogwoods, magnolias, crepe myrtles, azaleas, boxwoods, and rhododendron] have been added to the back garden, and the Elise Brice Bourne formal rose garden was planted by her husband and friends to commemorate Mrs. Bourne’s dedicated service to the Friends of Allandale.

Most recently, Dr. Harry Coover and his family donated the “Heron Dome” in memory of his deceased wife, Mrs. Muriel Zumbach Coover. The “Dome” features a bronze heron sculpture in a shallow pool, surrounded by benches, landscaping, and lighting to make the structure suitable for evening events [such as weddings, parties, and social gatherings and a quiet spot for reflection.

Mr. Brooks was devoted to the interests of Kingsport, and worked in countless ways to make it a better place in which to live. For example, as a predecessor to his gift of Allandale to the city, he donated no less than 100 acres of the property next to his house to the state of Tennessee for a University Center in honor of his first wife in 1962.

Upon his death in 1969, Mr. Brooks left his exquisite home [including many of its furnishings], several outbuildings, and 25 acres [featuring two man-made ponds] to the city of Kingsport. The board of mayor and aldermen were given one year to determine whether or not to accept his gift, which came with two primary provisions: the house must be maintained in the same manner as when its former owners were alive, and it must be devoted to public use.

Had the city turned the gift down, the property would have reverted back to the Brooks’ heirs, and the citizens of Kingsport would have lost one of its greatest public landmarks. In 1970, Kingsport’s Mayor Fred Gillette and the Board of Aldermen made what proved to be a wise decision indeed: to accept the Allandale property, and to agree to abide by the terms of his will. Though it had great potential benefit to the people of Kingsport, Allandale was not opened as we know it today until some 13 years later, thanks in large part to the dedicated efforts of Alderman William R. Garwood.

Mr. Garwood understood the possible service such a property could provide the citizenry, and successfully campaigned his fellow aldermen to finally open Allandale for its intended public use. A director was hired, and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that the first floor was redecorated and adequately prepared for its first guests since the City of Kingsport became the owner. In May 1983, an “open house” was hosted by Mayor Norman Spencer and aldermen Richard Watterson, Thomas Todd, Mary Cunningham, Alan Hubbard, George Ainslie, and Bill Garwood to officially mark the commencement of Allandale Mansion’s public life.

Regular maintenance of this home and the adjoining property is no small task, and Kingsport is to be commended for the major outlay of funds required [beyond what Mr. Brooks originally provided] to do so.

However, it was not long before it became evident that additional support would be needed to help keep the property “up-to-snuff,” and in 1989, the “Friends of Allandale” association was established to provide for this need. Since then, the they have made improvements and renovations to the property totaling more than $550,000, and have raised an additional $325,000 through in-kind gifts and services. The Friends have accomplished some remarkable objectives in order to keep the home in a fashion the Brooks family would have approved of, namely:

* Addition of street lights paving the long, semi-circular driveway [1992] * Continuous renovations and upkeep of the Mansion [and associated furnishings] * Many purchases [including an ice machine for hosting large gatherings, art work, antiques, kitchen appliances, tables and chairs, and wooden blinds for every window in the home * Donation of the Allandale Barn gazebo; * Development of the Picnic Pavilion [including associated restrooms] * Renovations to the Brown House and office spaces * Completion of numerous landscaping projects * Addition of walking paths * Donation of the “Heron Dome” * Completion of the garden fountain.

Mr. Brooks had a charitable penchant for inviting visitors [such as the Boy Scouts, kindergarten classes, and church groups] out to tour his farm. This kind tradition is carried on today in his philanthropic memory as many use Allandale’s facilities for a wide variety of social, civic, and private events.

Construction: Wood

Is this a 'working' barn?: Other (describe below)

The Allandale Barn can hold over 100 people, and has on many occasions, hosting school dances, reunions, anniversary parties and more. The barn is equipped with electricity and water as well as a refrigerator, microwave, dressing room and clean working restrooms. The loft upstairs has a stage and soundsystem capability.

Distinctive Features: Barn Art (tell us about it below)

Other Distinctive Features:
This quilt block is offered as a trackable geocoin at the Quilt Trail website

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Countrydragon visited Allandale Barn-Kingsport,TN 12/1/2009 Countrydragon visited it