Efforts to bring the historical significance of the facility to the forefront began in the 1970s. Many local organizations supported the cause during these early years, including the Knox County Renaissance Foundation. The Woodward was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the eventual restoration became the dream of the community.
In 1995, KPAC - The Knox Partnership for Arts & Culture was created. Its mission was established to support the arts throughout Knox County, beginning with the restoration and operation of the Woodward as an arts facility. In 1996, the Woodward Development Corporation (WDC) was formed to be the eventual owner of the facility. WDC purchased the Woodward building in May of 1998 and the adjacent building for use as an annex in March of 2000. Both organizations applied for and subsequently achieved their IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt designation.
After acquisition, the Woodward Development Corp. began detailed historic and archeological research aimed at establishing the physical evolution of the structures to permit an authentic restoration process. KPAC began laying the ground work developing plans for the community arts as it relates to the Woodward facility.