Knoxville By Design

Modernism Home Tour Sponsor:
Mid Mod Collective

White-Weiss Residence

Friday, February 28th, 2020

Homeowners: Jason White and Jessie Weiss
Architect: Bebb & Fleming Architects
Year: Approx. 1960
Location: South Knoxville, TN

Dr. William (Bill) Keenan was a notable chemist in the early 1940s. As his career began to take off, Dr. Keenan eventually took a job teaching chemistry at the University of Tennessee in 1949. Parallel to his teaching career, Dr. Keenan was an active member of (what was then called the) Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church. In 1956, when the time came for the church to fund and build a new building, Dr. Keenan chaired the building fund committee. It was during this period that Dr. Keenan was introduced to architect Hubert Bebb. Mr. Bebb would eventually be selected to design the church’s very unique building (which still exists at 3219 Kingston Pike). 

A few years later, when Dr. Keenan was ready to construct his own home, he again turned to Hubert Bebb (of the firm Bebb & Fleming) to construct his hilltop retreat. The secluded home is nestled on a 9½ acre site, with views of lake, mountains and woodlands. Stone interior floors that blend into exterior patios, walls of glass and a vaulted ceiling make the main spaces of the house feel as if they are an extension to the outside.

The current homeowners moved into the house in 2012 and updated the home extensively, complementing the original design of the house, adding modernized functionality. They also opened their home to Knox Heritage, participating in their popular series of fundraising dinners, known as Summer Suppers.

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