published Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Historic home for sale: 90-year-old Chattanooga mansion has view of Tennessee Valley


1923 - Built by George Saffarrans Elder and wife Hazel

1960 - Sold to John McDonald after Hazel's death, McDonald expands the house

2004 - Sold to David and Laurel Krishock, who restore the house

2013 - Put up for sale by the Krishocks

Source: Alliance Sotheby's International Realty

  • photo
    The 90-year-old Elder House at 960 Cumberland Road on Elder Mountain is on the market for $2.4 million.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A 90-year-old Chattanooga mansion with sweeping views of the Tennessee Valley is on the market for the only the fourth time since it was built in 1923.

The 7,400 square-foot home is listed at $2.5 million and sits at 960 Cumberland Road -- the highest point on Elder Mountain with an 1,860-foot elevation.

Built by George S. Elder -- the man for whom Elder Mountain is named -- the 15-room estate features a completely stone exterior and Spanish barrel tile roof.

"It's truly one of the most interesting homes I've seen," said Bradley Pruitt, chief operating officer for Knoxville-based Alliance Sotheby's International Realty, which is handling the home's sale. "And I've sold homes from D.C. to the Virgin Islands all the way into Texas."

The six-acre lot on the side of the mountain includes a stone tower that was originally used for water supply but now serves as a lookout point. Chattanooga Realtor George Elder, whose grandparents built the house, said he remembers four-poster beds, fireplaces, wrought-iron fixtures and 12-foot-tall mirrors from his visits to the home.

"When we were kids we used to run with cushions and pillows from the couch and we'd slide down the hardwood floors," he said with a chuckle. "But it wasn't enormous like some houses. It was very comfortable."

After Elder's grandmother died, the home was sold to John McDonald in 1958. The family expanded the house by connecting the garages to the home and adding a separate guest house. But despite the expansion, the McDonalds worked to preserve the historic feel of the home, Elder said.

"They stayed true," he said. "They were serious about that. They said we're going to change it but we'll keep in the same, in a sense."

The home was sold again in 2004 to current owners David and Laurel Krishock. The couple restored the home with new flooring, heating and cooling systems, plaster and windows. The Krishocks also upgraded the septic, water, electrical and added a commercial-grade security system.

They're selling the home now in order to move to the west coast, Pruitt said. He said the home is clearly in Chattanooga's luxury market.

"This price point, by nature, fits into the ultra-luxury market," he said.

He could see an out-of-town executive purchasing the home but wouldn't be surprised by local interest because of its storied past.

"[The buyer] could be a CEO," he said. "Someone from Atlanta or Ohio. That's where we've found consistent interest."

He plans to open a permanent Alliance Sotheby's International Realty office in Chattanooga early next year, and said the market is one of the strongest in the state.

"Chattanooga is one of the fastest growing demographics in Tennessee," he said. "That's a reason why we're moving there."

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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