Knoxville, TN –   Design Innovation Architects (DIA) and its founder and President, Faris Eid, have been honored by Knox Heritage during the group’s annual awards ceremony.

Eid, who has been involved in more than 70 preservation projects in the downtown part of Knoxville alone, received The Ronald Childress Preservationist of the Year.

“It’s a great, great honor,” said Eid, “especially considering how many outstanding individuals there are engaged in preservation projects. 25 years ago, we tended to just tear things down. That attitude has changed completely, and Knoxville is better off for it. We owe a big thanks to Knox Heritage for helping in that change.”

It was just such a preservation project that saw DIA win its second award. DIA and client Dover Development were jointly presented the Knoxville Mayor Award for the work, currently wrapping up, renovating the old Farragut Hotel into the Hyatt Place Downtown Knoxville.

“The 100-year-old building had been stripped down inside when it was converted to an office building in the 1970’s,” said Eid. “For the last 10 years it sat empty and abandoned. Now it will once again be a hotel. And while the structure may be 100 years old, everything about the inside will be state-of-the-art: new technology, new elevators and lots more. It has historical touches, but with a brand-new style, furnishings and art that will set a new standard.”