In 2017, USA TODAY Travel and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) are teaming up to help travelers find the best buildings in America. We asked AIA chapters nationwide to name 25 structures visitors to their state should see. These architects and design professionals also share their perspective on why these buildings, monuments and gardens are so significant. Tour noteworthy buildings as recommended by AIA Tennessee in the carousel above, and come back each week as we crisscross the country in search of amazing architecture.
Ayers Hall: The original building was designed by Miller, Fullenwider, and Dowling Architects, of Chicago. In June of 1921, the 80,000-square-foot Ayres Hall was officially dedicated and named for Brown Ayres, the former president who envisioned the landmark but died prior to its completion. The Gothic Revival structure rises 140 feet above its base. The distinctive checkerboard feature at the top of the tower has been replicated in UT orange and white in the end zones at Neyland Stadium and at the ends of the court in Thompson–Boling Arena. The dirt removed from the hilltop was slurred downhill to create Shields-Watkins Field. In 2011, the building re-opened after a two-year, nearly $16 million renovation by Knoxville firms Ross/Fowler Architects/Landscape Architects and Architects Weeks, Ambrose and McDonald. Ayres Hall received LEED Silver Certification, UT’s first LEED-certified building, and was added to the National Trust for Historic Buildings. Peter Montanti, Mountain Photographics, Inc.