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The “Other” Bebb, the Architect Brother of Douglas

Our guests often ask us questions about Hubert Bebb.  He was the architect brother of the Buckhorn Inn’s original owner, Douglas Bebb.

Hubert Bebb was the brother of the inn's original owner, Douglas.

Hubert Bebb was the architect for the Buckhorn Inn, built in 1938.

Hubert was born in Illinois but worked in Tennessee for the majority of his career.  When Douglas and Audrey Bebb bought 25 acres near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hubert began work on the plans for an inn.  He took advantage of the views, situating the neo-classical style inn so guests could enjoy Mt. Leconte, Trillium Gap, Brushy Mountain, and Winnesoka Knob.  The inn was called the “Mt. Vernon of the Smokies” for the colonnade which was modeled after Mt. Vernon.

Hubert Bebb’s work helped to shape the way Sevier County looks today.  His work stands out by the seamless combination of modernist ideas and regional materials.  His designs respect their surroundings.  For example, his steep roof lines mimic the shape of the mountains behind his buildings. http://www.tennesseeencyclopedia.net

Bebb’s Education

He studied architecture at Cornell University and bolstered his understanding of native materials by studying mine engineering in Colorado.  He studied under Frank Lloyd Wright in Illinois.  The young architect worked on designs for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.  On that project he worked with his good friend Nathanial Owings who founded the firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. 

In Tennessee, the architect created the viewing tower for the Clingman’s Dome Overlook.  His design ensured that the tower is accessible by all.  His design for the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts won a 1973 Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects.  Natural air drafts feed the kilns at Arrowmont.  Late in his career, Bebb designed “A Monument to the Sun, the Source of All Energy” for the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair.  The tower remains one of the most recognizable parts of the Knoxville skyline.