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Krutch Park History

When he was 47, Krutch was hired as a staff photographer at the new federal agency in town, the Tennessee Valley Authority. He visited TVA dams and factories at strange times, at dawn, at night, and he experimented with lenses and filters. Krutch returned to headquarters with some of the most dramatic photographs ever taken of industrial sites. New York’s Museum of Modern Art chose a number of Krutch’s photographs to show the agency at its most dramatic state. Krutch’s photographs would end up in approximately a dozen books.

In his 50’s, Krutch married a school teacher from the Midwest. They lived with his elderly mother. A few years after she died (when he was about 65) Charlie Krutch retired from TVA and moved away from home for the first time, to the new subdivision Westmoreland.

By the time his wife had died in 1960, he was the only member of his family in Knoxville. He spent the last 20 years of his life gardening and speculating on some stock. He died in 1981 at the age of 94. He surprised the City by leaving about $1.3 million in his will for an urban park. Krutch stipulated that it be, “a quiet retreat with trees, shrubs, flowers, and other planting for the pleasure and health of the public.”

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