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Community Classics by © Bob Hall

Framed Prints

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215 views as of 11.6.12
What you’re looking at are two old pillars of the community here in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA… Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee and the Henley Street Bridge. Both locations played a huge role in my life for eight years. I once worked at BHET under the moon light (third shift) for that stretch of time. To get there, I’d cross the Henley Street Bridge around 10:30 P.M.

Now, both are no longer up and running. BHET is standing tall, but with hollow halls and empty beds. After 55 years of service to the community, the hospital shut down shortly after a merger went into effect with another local healthcare system in 2007. BHET officially closed on August 1, 2008.
Here is a YouTube video created by BHET folks in memory of the good ol’ days: The Memories of Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee

The story on the Henley Street Bridge has a different twist from the above. The bridge is currently undergoing a major facelift and will one day reopen to traffic. According to TDOT, the bridge has been deficient for some time. Here is a detailed article about this: TDOT: More plans for 3 year Henley Street Bridge closure

I find it ironic that the two locations which played an important role in my daily life for several years are now just memories (though the bridge will soon be re-structured for traffic). The one thing that comes to mind is Jamie O’Hara’s hit song that went to no.1 on the charts, by the Judd’s in 1986, Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ol’ Days), and the line that says…

Grandpa
Everything is changing fast.
We call it progress,
But I just don’t know
.

Posted 11.16.2011

As an artist I enjoy painting and photographing segments of rural life. Country living became a new world for me back in the sixties when we moved from Chicago, Illinois to East Tennessee. I want to capture what I now see before country living vanishes… at least in my area!

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Comments

  • GEORGE SANDERSON
    GEORGE SANDERSONabout 3 years ago

    To true Bob, what some see as progress others see as vandalism. We have had some wonderful old buildings torn down and replaced with new ugly ultra-modern glass and concete monstrosities, that will probably last no more than 10 years.
    It’s great to see someone keeping a record for posterity !!!

  • Thanks George,… yeah, modern doesn’t mean better. It’s predicted that BHET will be sold at some point and replaced by a bunch of condos. There’s a renovation plan for along that river front: new condos, restaurants, etc. I mean, with all that beauty, who wants to see an eyesore-of-a-hospital in the mist? Thanks buddy, much appreciated!!!

    – © Bob Hall

  • Tracy66
    Tracy66about 3 years ago

    Hope it opens soon

  • Thank you Tracy, much appreciated… ;~)

    – © Bob Hall

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsabout 3 years ago

    I know the old Baptist Hospital in downtown Memphis has slowly began to move all it’s services to the New facility just south on 55 outside of Memphis, Bob. I guess it’s their effort to stay of the medical cutting edge, so to speak. As for this gorgeous old bridge, I am delighted to know TDOT is making the effort to restore it. With that architecture it’s certainly worth saving. Fine photo work Bob.

  • Thanks Jim!!! I left a short time before the merger. I now work for another local healthcare system. I have good memories of BHET. At one point, I worked second shift for a time. It was during this shift that Kenny Chesney played Neyland Stadium. I caught a free concert from one of the roofs of the hospital, lol! Not the whole concert, mind you. I did respond to my pager when it went off. From the hospital, a person could see the stadium lights, hear the noise of Vols’ football games and concerts scheduled there. …well, better move on now, before… I have a moment, lol Much appreciated Jim!

    – © Bob Hall

  • Evita
    Evitaabout 3 years ago

    Wonderful capture Bob !!! ☺♥

  • Most appreciated Evita!!!

    – © Bob Hall

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