The late Felder Weeks bought the one-and-a-third acre plot of land in 1950 for $750. He recognized the value of the property, on a peninsula on the Tennessee River, and knew that though it seemed remote at the time, it was destined to change. It is now about a 30-minute drive from Knoxville. The A-frame house, at 1,656 square feet with three tiny bedrooms and one bath downstairs and a loft bedroom upstairs, was built as a vacation place, and not somewhere to retire and live year-round. “Jeannine and I suffered from a fatal disease,” Paul says, “It’s called ‘final house syndrome.’ We bought the home from my parents and when my father died and my mom moved to a condo in town, we had to make this house into one we could spend the rest of our lives in.”
Paul went to his father’s former business partner, 88-year-old Bruce McCarty, FAIA, who still runs and works (when he wants to) for his firm. McCarty handed the job to Pittman, his associate, to do outside the office, but with his oversight. “Bruce knew I needed something to keep me going,” says Pittman, “and he also knew that I would work to preserve the integrity of Felder Weeks’s vision with this house.” The Weekses agreed, and with McCarty as mentor, the two-year-long renovation went ahead.