The Yale Avenue Urban Renewal Project was formally signed on May 23, 1963. The project resulted from an agreement between UT and the Knoxville Housing Authority (KHA). UT Law alumnus Frank B. Creekmore served as chairman. Under the agreement, the KHA acquired all land not then owned by UT lying between Fifteenth and Twenty-third Streets on the east and west and between Rose Avenue and the railroad properties on the north and south—134 acres. The KHA then relocated the more than four hundred families living in the area, razed the more than 325 houses and other buildings not owned by UT, and graded the area. UT purchased the area from the KHA for $3 million. (The university made its first payment of $623,250 in fall 1963.)
The expanded campus was designed by UT planner Henry Morse and UT architect Malcolm Rice, under the supervision of UT Vice President for Development Edward J. Boling. In a Daily Beacon article on May 6, 1977, Boling characterized the urban renewal area when he entered UT as a student in 1941: “Most of where all the new buildings are now were run down houses then. There were fantastically large rats all over the place.”
The first building to be built on the “new” campus was the Music Building, begun in 1964, completed in 1965, and opened for classes in January 1966. The urban renewal project was closed out in spring 1967 with the transfer of all remaining land acquired from the housing authority to UT.