Photo Record

Object Name Transparency, Slide
Catalog Number 2012.025.034
Description This slide is labeled "McClellan Bldg. Broad ST. Chattanooga Tenn. The handwritten description is written in black ink on top of the printed date which seems to be November 1968. The printed date is obscured by the ink description. The photographer is unknown. There are four cars from the time period parked in front of the building in the image.
This building is located at 721 Broad Street Chattanooga TN 37402 and was designed and constructed by R.H Hunt in 1924. This 12 story office building was originally called the Provident building. According to "Building Stones of Downtown Chattanooga", written by Robert Lake Wilson, the interior is finished in light gray stylolitic "marble" from Knoxville, Tennessee and pink Tennessee "marble" in the doorway. Part of the exterior is finished in terra cotta. An addition called the West Building was added in 1951-1952 but was demolished in 1995.
The Maclellan Building, was built as a financial trophy to the accomplishments of the Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. The firm, which has since merged to become Unum, was founded in 1887 by a group of Chattanoogans and was later headed by Canadian born, Thomas MacClellan. At the time of the buildings construction, Provident was housed in the James Building annex. The firm stayed on Broad Street until the large structure opened next to the County Courthouse in 1960.
It is interesting to note that Mr. Hunt was actually a Provident officer, as a result, he wanted to provide a quality design to bring additional business not only to his firm, but also to Provident.
Researchers have stated that Hunt was inspired by two buildings in particular when designing the Maclellan in the Beaux- Arts style that was very popular after World War I. The Volunteer Building on Georgia Avenue and the adjacent James Building, but in different ways.
The Volunteer Building was constructed by Z.C. Patten around 1916-17 for his Volunteer Life Insurance Co., which was one of Providents' primary business competitors at the time. As stated earlier, this building like the Volunteer Life building was 12 stories tall, however, with the addition of the attic the Maclellan Building became 1 story taller than the Volunteer building. On the other hand, Hunt did not want to out shine the adjacent James building which he of course designed previously. Hunt was careful to design the Maclellan Building with a three-story base that separated the bulk of its tower from both the James Building on one side and the Tivoli Theatre on the other. The base provided some elbow room for all three of Hunt's buildings along Broad Street.
By 1929 the Building housed not only the Provident offices on the second and third floors but countless other offices throughout, including the famous Provident Building Barber Shop on the first floor.
On August 28th 2009 Kevin C. Boehm of the Raines Group, Inc represented Maclellan Partners LLC in the purchase of the Maclellan Building at 721 Broad St.
The purchase price was $3,850,000. The company plans for the building to be converted into a boutique hotel.
Date 1968 circa
Print size 2.00" x 2.00"
Accession number 2012.025