Kingsport Times News Monday, August 31, 2015

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Group gives 'Four Star Award' to Allandale amphitheater, designer

March 8th, 2014 10:16 pm by Matthew Lane

Group gives 'Four Star Award' to Allandale amphitheater, designer

Kingsport architect and longtime Allandale Mansion volunteer Allen Dryden Jr., mansion curator Rod Gemayel and Fred Wallin with Friends of Allandale stand on the steps of the amphitheater. Photo by David Grace.

KINGSPORT — Allandale Mansion’s newest feature — the outdoor amphitheater — has been recognized by the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association with a “Four Star Award” for a new facility.

The TRPA has also recognized local architect Allen Dryden Jr. with a “Four Star Award” for individual service for his 25-plus years of volunteer service and work in support of the Allandale Mansion. Dryden has a long history with Allandale Mansion. He designed the amphitheater and the Heron Dome while his father designed the original mansion.

Dryden said he had no idea Allandale officials submitted his name to the TRPA.

“I’ve got mixed emotions. The purpose is to do something for the community and not win some kind of recognition,” Dryden said. “But I’ve grown up with this place. My father designed it and I watched it come out of the ground. It’s a passion for me and it’s easy to contribute something when you feel that way.”

Rod Gemayel, curator of Allandale Mansion, said the individual service award encompasses the volunteer hours, donations, fundraising efforts and the leadership role Dryden has taken over the years in support of the mansion.

“He’s worked countless hours, from donating time and efforts from him and his company. All I do is call him and he has never said no to me,” Gemayel said. “He’s most willing to do what needs to be done out here.”

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday’s print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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