TOP PHOTO: You have to be of a certain age to know the history of the Piedmont Hotel/Fleet Building. WLAF’s original studio was housed in the bottom right corner section of the Fleet Building from 1953 until 1963.

By Charlie Hutson

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The big building that sits at the “V” of Nevada Avenue and North 5th Street was built back in the day when there weren’t many three story buildings in Lafollette.  

The Piedmont Hotel, built in 1923 by Domenico Lobertini and son, was one of the first few. Then in 1957, Sam Claiborne bought the Piedmont Hotel building, and it became the headquarters for Fleet Oil Company. Claiborne renamed the building the Fleet Building as its still known as today.

On November 11, 1979, there was a fire, completely destroying the third floor. The image above shows the top section being removed shortly after the fire to create the two story building we know today some 42 years later. The building will be 100 years old next year. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/17/2022-6AM)