The Alexander Inn, originally known as The Guest House, was built in 1943 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It began as a wood framed building, similar to many other war-period “H-plan” buildings, and most importantly served as guest quarters to a number of dignitaries during the top secret Manhattan Project, including Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves. In 1949, a 44-room addition was completed and went through a name change a year later to The Alexander Inn. The hotel was sold by the government to Mr. W. W. Faw for $34,000 in 1958 and private bathrooms and a ballroom were added, as well as the kitchen was expanded.
The Alexander Inn closed its doors in the mid 1990’s. Since that time it has been privately owned and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but sat empty. Vandals raided the infamous location, tearing up the walls and broke every light fixture in the building. Despite the decades of deterioration and being No. 1 on the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance's inaugural Endangered Heritage list, all hope is not lost. The Oak Ridge Revitalization Effort purchased The Alexander Inn and restoration has begun.
The ORRE and area volunteers are working hard to save the historic property and possibly turn it in to a bed and breakfast or conference center. They are in the process of trying to raise $500,000 by December 31st, 2010. $373,500 will be used to pay off the mortgage with the remainder going to demolish the ballroom, address environmental hazards and the stabilize the primary structure. They have so far surpassed the $20,000 mark, but much work still needs to be done.
The Alexander Inn has a foothold in American History, but is it also haunted? Many believe the very scientists who stayed in The Guest House during The Manhattan Project still roam the historic location. However, actual paranormal activity seems to be scarce. Witnesses have reported hearing footsteps walking up stairs. There are claims of a figure standing in front of a window being seen from the outside. A haunted label may aid in the fund raising effort but this inn is apart of history and should be saved with or without ghosts.