Frist Hall, a 71-year-old building that has experienced flooding issues for decades, is being torn down.
On Monday, July 12, demolition started on Frist Hall, located next to the Metro Building between McCallie Avenue and Oak Street. The building was approved for demolition by the State Building Commission in 2014.
In the short term, the Frist Hall grounds will become a green space area due to the history of water retention challenges in the area. Long term, plans are to use the site for a combination parking garage/housing complex.
Initially constructed as Medical Park Hospital, the building was donated to UTC in 1985 by Hospital Corporation of America—now known as HCA HealthCare. It was renamed in honor of that company’s co-founder, Thomas F. Frist Sr., in 1987.
In announcing the building’s acquisition, former UTC Chancellor Frederick Obear said that the “significant gift to the University by the Hospital Corporation of America will allow us to relocate some of UTC’s significant community programs. It will also free up some additional office space on the main campus.”
Medical Park Hospital opened in 1950 and was an 83-bed general hospital. It was last used as a medical facility in 1982, sitting vacant until its donation by the Frist family to UTC in 1985.
Frist Hall housed numerous UTC operations over the years, most recently the academic Department of Communication, the Disability Resource Center and Student Support Services. The last of its inhabitants, Student Support Services, moved to the Barr Building (739 McCallie) during the 2020-2021 academic year.
The 545 Oak Street Building, located just east of the Alumni Affairs House at Douglas and Oak streets, is scheduled for demolition later this year. Built in 1930, the building also was known on campus as International House. It has served in recent years as a surge space for construction projects, including housing the Honors College during Guerry Center renovations.