The Chattanooga-based Lyndhurst Foundation was organized in 1978 by Coca-Cola Bottling heir John T. (Jack) Lupton II and family following the death of his parents, Thomas Cartter Lupton and Margaret Rawlings Lupton. Named for the former Lupton family estate in the Riverview community, the charitable foundation was originally organized by Cartter Lupton in 1938 as the Memorial Welfare Foundation, the first private foundation established in Tennessee.
Lyndhurst's philosophy centered on the “search for new ideas related to learning in the fields of health, education, and the arts.” The foundation provided funds and encouragement for a number of Chattanooga projects, including the Tennessee Aquarium and the Lupton Library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus. Much of the economic and cultural growth of the city, especially downtown renewal, would not have been possible without the contributions of the foundation. In 1991 Jack Lupton retired as board chairman, and his four children were appointed to the board. The foundation's scope has expanded over the years to cover not only Chattanooga but the southeastern United States as well. New headquarters opened in the renovated Thomas McConnell house in downtown Chattanooga in 1995.