Thursday, October 12, 2006
Historic Grey Gables gifted to UT
By SUE WATSON
Dr. Al Hale of Holly Springs, a retired dentist who enjoyed a long practice in the city, has donated Grey Gables to The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Woodrow M. Henderson, assistant vice president for planned giving, office of development at UT Knoxville, was in Holly Springs Wednesday of last week to accept the keys to the house.
Hale is a graduate of the 1958 class of the College of Dentistry at UT Memphis.
Henderson said the house will be sold in the near future to establish an endowment to help pre-dental students at the Knoxville campus.
UT will ask a fair value for it, he said.
Dr. Hale said by giving the house he wants to help deserving students entering the field of dentistry and honor his parents.
“I’m giving this house in memory of my mother Nannie Hale and father Emmette Hale Sr. of Senatobia,” Hale said. “Eventually, there will be scholarships in their names.
“It will be what we call an endowment, so we will only spend the income,” Henderson said. “The principal will always be there.”
Hale bought the home in 1983 and lived in it for 23 years. He said he has thought about leaving the house to a good cause for a while.
“It’s been in the back of my mind,” he said. “I wanted my life’s work to be worth something. I have no children to leave it to.”
Grey Gables was built in two periods and originally faced west. The Italianate arches were added later in addition to the central hall, spiral staircase, and double parlors. Two bedrooms and a hall were added up stairs.
In all, the house has about 17 rooms and 3.5 baths, he said.
The house features a Jenn-Air subzero kitchen, two staircases and Zuber wallpaper.
“It has the prettiest staircase in Mississippi,” Hale said. “The French Zuber wallpaper throughout the house is only found in the finest of homes. You can still buy it but it is expensive.”
Henderson said he was contacted by one of Hale’s friends who had done a lot of decorating for Dr. Hale.
“You may want to talk to him,” Hale’s friend said.
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