According to Rick Dover, the Knoxville landmark represents more than just an old building to his family. He attended numerous events, including his high school proms, in the hotel ballroom. Sadly, much of the interior, including event space, was gutted in the 1980s to make room for office space. This, Dover laments, was a terrible thing to happen to such a significant property.
Rick Dover says the Knoxville Farragut served numerous roles throughout its hundred year history. The Southeastern Conference, one of baseball’s most respected organizations, was formed in the building after the University of Tennessee and numerous other colleges defected in 1932 from the Southern Conference. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are just two of the notable sports figures to visit the hotel during this time. And the building did more than just bolster the future of college baseball, says Rick Dover. The Knoxville Symphony was birthed in the hotel’s ballroom in 1925.