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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
HGTV's Restore America Program Focuses on George Barber Houses
HGTV Restore America

November 15, 2006 - Mayor Haslam and representatives from Knox Heritage and HGTV announced that the George Barber-designed houses located at 1618 and 1620 Washington Avenue will be a part of the HGTV's Restore America initiative. Parkridge neighbors gathered to celebrate this new initiative and helped kick off the restorations.

Mayor Haslam and representatives from HGTV, Knox Heritage and Parkridge remove the first piece of plywood to kick off restorationsThe event began with a press conference followed by Mayor Bill Haslam and Annette Lindstrom, HGTV's vice-president of consumer marketing, leading the removal of the first piece of plywood from the long boarded-up houses. Participants were allowed to tour the homes in order to see the "before" of this amazing make-over. HGTV was on site to film the event as part of their online and on-air coverage of the initiative.

"This is a wonderful project that is going to turn back the clock for these two houses and restore them to the beauty they once had many years ago," Haslam said. "We want to thank Knox Heritage, which is making this possible with the help of HGTV's Restore America program."

In partnership with HGTV's Restore America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Knox Heritage will purchase and completely restore the two homes in the Parkridge Neighborhood. They stand vacant and blighted now, but the region and the country will witness a breathtaking transformation that will return them to their former beauty while highlighting the work of Knoxville's most famous Victorian-era architect and encouraging the preservation of this special neighborhood.

George Barber-designed house located at 1620 Washington Avenue
Exterior view of the George Barber-designed house located at 1620 Washington Avenue

"We are so excited the entire region will be able to see the restoration of these two homes," said Kim Trent, executive director of Knox Heritage. "They are an important part of our community's history and the future of the Parkridge neighborhood."

George Barber-designed house located at 1618 Washington Avenue
Interior view of the George Barber-designed house located at 1620 Washington Avenue

Local sponsorship support is being provided by the Knoxville News Sentinel and WBIR's Style. These local media outlets will follow the restoration of the two houses from the kick off through their completion next summer. This will allow residents of East Tennessee to experience the entire process and join Knox Heritage in celebrating the history of our region.

Since 2003, HGTV's Restore America initiative has provided $4 million to fund 48 restoration projects around the country. HGTV has donated $1 million for the 2006-2007 campaign to fund community revitalization grants. More than 100 grant applications were received from nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to complete residential projects.

Knox Heritage's "George Barber Houses - A Place for America to Call Home" project was one of only 12 selected for the program this year. The projects chosen range from single-family homes adapted from a row of dilapidated structures built at the turn of the 20th century in Cleveland, Ohio, to the rebuilding of homes in the Holy Cross District of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward that collapsed during Hurricane Katrina. The recipients have been awarded grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 for the community revitalization projects. You can view all of the projects at www.hgtv.com/restoreamerica.

In addition to providing funds to support the community projects, HGTV is producing public service announcements for each site that are featured on HGTV and HGTV.com. This will allow news about these projects and the message of preservation to reach more than 91 million U.S. households. The Knox Heritage project will also be featured on HGTV radio programming and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Web site.

Knox Heritage Restore American Initiative
2006-2007 Schedule of Events
November 15 - Restoration Kick-Off Event with Mayor Bill Haslam and HGTV
November 15-16 - On-Site Filming by HGTV for Online and On-Air Content
Jan.-June 2007 - Sponsor Demonstrations On Site
February, April, June 2007 - Preservation Network On Site
March 2007 - Major Donor Sneak Peek Party & Hard Hat Tour
April 19, 2007 - Groundbreaking for Community Gardening with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and HGTV
April 28, 2007 - Community Gardening Day & Celebration
April-June 2007 - Designer Rooms
May 2007 - Preservation Month Open House
June 2007 - Progressive Summer Supper, Tour of George Barber Homes
June-August 2007 - Ribbon Cuttings and House Warming Parties for New Owners
September 15, 2007 - George Barber Trolley Tours
October 2007 - Parkridge Historic Home Tour

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities. Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Trust was founded in 1949 and provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to protect the irreplaceable places that tell America's story. Staff at the Washington, D.C., headquarters, six regional offices and 28 historic sites work with the Trust's 270,000 members and thousands of preservation groups in all 50 states. For more information, visit the Trust's web site at www.nationaltrust.org.

HGTV, America's leader in home and lifestyle programming, is distributed to more than 91 million U.S. households and is one of cable's top-rated networks. HGTV's website, www.HGTV.com is the nation's leading online home and garden destination that attracts an average of 5.9 million unique visitors per month. HGTV owns 33 percent of HGTV Canada and provides much of the Canadian network's daily programming. The network's branded programming also can be seen in 121 territories across all seven continents and its selected programming is available to service men and women on board Navy ships and through American Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS) which services more than 1,000 outlets in over 175 countries. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York, HGTV is wholly owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP), which also operates Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country.

For Immediate Release
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