Delaney House Renovation
Project overview
YEAR: 2018 CLIENT: Beck Cultural Exchange Center LOCATION: Knoxville, TN VOLUNTEER(S): Mary Beth Robinson, CIDQ, CAPS & Cara Knapp, AIA
  • Renovation plans and renderings for an existing historic home on the Beck Cultural Exchange Center Campus
  • The home was the residence of the family of famous local African-American artist brothers, Joseph and Beauford Delaney
  • The plan includes renovation of a bedroom into a Parisian-style apartment for visiting artists

Restoring an important piece of Knoxville’s African-American Art History The Beck Cultural Exchange Center’s Delaney House Restoration will help tell the story of the Delaney family and Beauford and Joseph Delaney, well-known twentieth century African American artists. This project aligns with the Beck Center’s mission to preserve African American history and culture in East Tennessee. It also coincides with the … Read More

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Restoring an important piece of Knoxville’s African-American Art History

The Beck Cultural Exchange Center’s Delaney House Restoration will help tell the story of the Delaney family and Beauford and Joseph Delaney, well-known twentieth century African American artists. This project aligns with the Beck Center’s mission to preserve African American history and culture in East Tennessee. It also coincides with the Gathering Light Initiative, a collaboration of the Beck Center, Knoxville Museum of Art, and East Tennessee History Center, which was established to highlight the Delaney brothers significance in the art world.

Renee Kesler, Beck Center Executive Director, contacted the ETCDC to assist in restoration concepts for the Delaney House, which is located next to their campus on Dandridge Avenue.  The ETCDC was granted Community Development Block Grant funding to develop the project.

The restoration of the Delaney House will allow the Beck Center to tell the family’s story and their place in Knoxville’s history.  The home, which was built in the early 1900’s, was the third house the Delaney family lived in after their relocation during Knoxville’s urban renewal in the 1960’s. Samuel Delaney, family patriarch and eldest brother of Beauford and Joseph, moved the family to the home. The last resident was Samuel’s grandson, Michael Delaney prior to the Beck Center purchasing it in 2015.

The interior restoration of Delaney House will allow each space to serve dual functions.  Furnishings will be added that harken back to the home’s history while still allowing for meeting spaces for organizations and community groups. There are two former bedrooms upstairs that can be used for small art classes.  All rooms will be arranged to allow for wall treatments and display areas for changing educational exhibits and to highlight the Delaney Brothers’ art work.

An upstairs suite will be created to allow a guest to stay overnight at the home.  The suite will be developed in the character of a mid-century Parisian apartment, similar to one Beauford Delaney would have stayed in during his years abroad.

The project received the ETCDC’s 2018 Annette Anderson Directors’ Award.

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