This series was reported for more than a year. To have a full grasp of the Chattanooga renaissance and the history of Chattanooga Venture, reporters Joan Garrett McClane and Joy Lukachick Smith surveyed dozens of academic case studies on Chattanooga’s rebirth, read six books and studied thousands of documents, culled from a variety of sources.
Many of these documents were reviewed and copied during two trips to the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where the Lyndhurst Foundation’s records from 1970 to 2013 live. Records — including pamphlets, studies, letters, financial statements, newspaper archives, photos and government filings — from the Chattanooga History Museum collection and the Chattanooga Public Library’s Chattanooga Venture collection also were used to write this historical narrative. In addition, reporters traveled to Atlanta to review Coca-Cola records in the Robert W. Woodruff collection at the Rose Library at Emory University.
Personal letters from Jack Lupton, Eleanor Cooper, Rick Montague and Jack Murrah and the personal journal of Cooper, which are not part of the public record, also were used to build the narrative.
To verify facts found in the records, more than 50 people were interviewed or consulted.