2022 photo by Sam Hall
A small parking lot behind the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul was once
home to 11, 13, & 15 Market Square.
All three addresses are seen in this circa 1917 photo. Employees of the R. L. West Company pose in front of 11.
Their next door neighbor at 13 was the Tennessee Awning and Tent Company, established in 1905.
In the wide area between buildings along Patten Parkway once stood the Market House, teaming with vendors and customers in the late 1800s. The area was originally known as the Cincinnati Investment Block.
By 1890, the building became City Hall and later the Police Department also relocated here. In 1945, Market Square was renamed to honor the late Z. C. Patten. The aging market building was removed.
Just next door, at 17 & 19 Patten parkway, was the home of the first Coca-Cola Bottling plant
and a newspaper, the Chattanooga News.
Founded by J.B. Pound and sold in 1924 to George Fort Milton Jr. By 1939 it would be taken over by competitor and publisher of the Free-Press, Roy McDonald. He combined the masthead as “Chattanooga News-Free Press”. Read the tragic story of Milton’s loss of the News here.
The facts regarding when and why 11-15 Patten Parkway was razed are still being researched.
Digitized & searchable Chattanooga newspapers after 1963 are not publicly available. Mark Kennedy at the Times Free Press found reference to the buildings being vacant and for lease in 1971.
I checked with former Mayor Ron Littlefield, who recommended I speak with Gen. Carl E. Levi, former City of Chattanooga Treasurer, and Hamilton County Trustee. At 91, he enthusiastically recounted many interesting past events; such as when Mayor P. R. Olgiati gave him his first city job, which was only expected to last a few weeks. That temporary position turned into 45 years of public service.
Given the age of the structures and other renovations to the remaining block, evidence suggests that the buildings were taken down after the block changed ownership in 1976.
Contact Me if you have additional information.