Ayres Hall.

10 Historic Buildings

With the purchase of the Hill in 1826, our institution began building and expanding. Here are the 10 oldest buildings that are still standing on campus today. Read more about the history of the university on our historic timeline.


South College

Located on the Hill, South College originally served as a dormitory and campus armory for East Tennessee University. South College was converted into classrooms and meeting halls in 1890, and the facade was restored in 1989. It is now home to the Department of Physics and Ray’s Place restaurant.


Cowan Cottage

This renovated cottage was once home to a gardener for the Victorian-era Cowan estate. It is located near the rebuilt Strong Hall and is currently used for classes and exhibition space.


Carriage House

Built as part of the privately owned Woodruff estate, the Carriage House is now used as storage for Hoskins Library.


Tyson Alumni House

Tyson Alumni House
Originally a two-story Queen Anne-style house, Tyson House was rebuilt in 1907 as a three-story Colonial classic. It is now home to Alumni offices and space for special events.


Facilities Services Complex

Built in 1908, it is now the home of Facilities Services on Sutherland Avenue.


Austin Peay Memorial Building

This building began as the Carnegie Library. It was extensively remodeled and rebuilt and renamed for Tennessee Governor Austin Peay in the 1930s when the UT administration moved there. In 1952, an addition was completed. In 1973, the administration relocated and Austin Peay became home to the Department of Psychology.


Ceramics Annex

Built in 1920, the Ceramics Annex on Morgan Circle is now home to the Graduate Ceramics Studio.


Ayres Hall

Crowning the Hill, Ayres Hall, named after President Brown Ayres, is one of the most recognizable symbols of the university. It closed in 2008 and, after an extensive renovation, opened again in 2010 with a north-side plaza, clock faces on the bell tower, and LEED certification among other updates. It is currently used by the College of Arts and Sciences.


Hopecote House

This English cottage style home was a privately owned residence completed in 1924 for the Hope family. UT acquired it in 1976 and restored it in 1977 for use as a unique guest house.


Morgan Hall

The UT Institute of Agriculture along with UT Extension and 4-H occupy Morgan Hall, which is named for President Harcourt Morgan.

Enjoy learning more about campus locations with our historic walking tour.

UT 225th anniversaryThis story is part of the University of Tennessee’s 225th anniversary celebration. Volunteers light the way for others across Tennessee and throughout the world.

Learn more about UT’s 225th anniversary

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Nancy Bell August 23, 2019 - 7:50 pm


William Palmer October 7, 2019 - 1:13 pm

I met and married my college sweetheart in 1978.

Alice October 7, 2019 - 6:01 pm

It’s humorous when UTK pretends to care about architectural historic preservation!

DeWitt Stone October 8, 2019 - 1:41 pm

Except for two or three exceptions, UT has done a well in maintaining its collegiate architecture style. I was a student there from 1957 until 1964 and still feel “at home” when I can get to Knoxville to visit.

Kim Scholes September 14, 2021 - 1:34 pm

When I was in graduate school, I used to stay in Hopecote House when the resident caretaker went on vacation – it was like sleeping in a doll’s house in a fairy tale. I always looked forward to staying in that very special place.

Mike Harrell July 12, 2023 - 7:12 pm

July 2023
A previous post called Ayres “a beacon for us all”. I first entered the university in the fall of ’71 and yes the heat could be overwhelming in the 2nd floor math classes. The eroded steps with scooped terrazzo depressions bore decades of volunteers trudging up the identical places I traveled. Outside the rear west entrance at ground level was a Norway Maple directly opposite the door. That fall several of my high school classmates would congregate not by design, but shear happenstance. The tree provided the needed respite from the heat, but even more we few recent high school graduates would connect and for one quarter the 30,000 plus student enrollment wasn’t a daunting, frighting statistic. I live in Florida and visit the property I own in Knoxville several times a year. I just returned and while there I drove to the hill. The renovations’ digging around the base of the tree is taking a toll on the health of the ol’ maple. Just a few thoughts and memories from a ’79 UT grad. Warm Regards… Mike


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