published Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Old Farmers' Market being renamed for former Chattanooga Mayor Gene Roberts

  • photo
    Bud Shaerer and Cherie Roberts unveil the sign for the new Gene Roberts Public Service Complex which is located at the old Farmer's Market on 11th Street.
    Photo by Jay Bailey /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The old Farmers' Market site on East 11th Street will be renamed Monday in honor of longtime former Chattanooga Mayor Gene Roberts.

"He's originally from Onion Bottom and with his contributions as mayor, it was only fitting," said Richard Beeland, spokesman for current Mayor Ron Littlefield.

The new name for the area formerly known as Onion Bottom will be the Gene Roberts Public Service Complex.

The earlier name came from a city dump site that frequently caught fire. The burning garbage smelled like onions, according to Chattanooga Times Free Press archives.

The site currently has a police station, transportation hub for the Southeast Tennessee Human Resources Agency and is the home for Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga. A proposed indoor firing range and the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Homeless Health Care Center also are planned for the site.

A dedication will be held 11 a.m. Monday at the corner of Baldwin and 11th streets.

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