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Antiquarian Club Invites Community to L&N Station for 110th Anniversary Celebration

landn On Friday, April 10, 2015, the L&N STEM Academy’s Antiquarian Club will welcome the public to L&N Station, 401 Henley Street, to celebrate the historic landmark’s 110th anniversary. Students and staff will open the school’s stained glass doors to the community from 3:00-4:30 p.m., and the East Tennessee Historical Society has arranged for local author and historian, Jack Neely, to address visitors at 3:30 p.m. at the Station. The Station's most elegant rooms will be open for viewing with information on their original use, and students in period dress will be standing by to help answer questions visitors may have. Several historical objects relating to the L&N will also be displayed. Visitors may enjoy light refreshments and celebratory cake, as well.

L&N Station opened for public service on April 10, 1905; now a century and a decade later, it remains one of the city's most beautiful buildings. The L&N Station has served Knoxvillians in numerous capacities over the years, from linking the Marble City to large metropolises of the south, to housing the restaurants and offices for the 1982 World’s Fair.

The building was very nearly demolished after the discontinuation of the passenger rail in 1969. Many original items were removed, including the iconic stained glass. Thankfully, when the train yard was chosen as the site of the World's Fair, the demolition was canceled and the L&N Station became the staging grounds and main offices for the Fair. In 1982, the L&N Station and its Depot were added to the National Registry of Historical Places, protecting the buildings from any future threats of demolition.

After 1982, the building struggled to find a purpose. Many of the restaurants remained on the main floor well after the fair ended, and an array of offices were scattered throughout the upper and lower levels. The Station's handcrafted mosaic tile floors, intricate crown molding, and breathtaking stained glass made the L&N the perfect venue for weddings, parties and banquets. It continued to serve Knoxville as a multi-purpose complex until 2011.

That year, the historic Station and Depot were chosen as the home of Knox County Schools’ newest, and at that time, not yet named, magnet high school. This new school would draw students from all districts in the county and surrounding region, focused on the fast growing, and increasingly important fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This cutting-edge school welcomed its first class of students to their new, old school in August 2011. These students voted to recognize the incredible building that they now occupied by incorporating it into the school's name, The L&N STEM Academy. Fast forward to 2015, and the founding year's freshman are preparing to graduate. They are the first class to have attended all four years of high school as Gryphons, and 2015 is sure to be a memorable year for the school. It will also be a memorable year for the building as it enters its 110th year of serving the community.

L&N STEM Academy’s Antiquarian Club is a group of students whose goal is to preserve the history and integrity of the L&N Station and World’s Fair Park. For more information, contact Becky Ashe, Principal, at becky.ashe@knoxschools.org or 865-329-8440.