Knoxville Culture » Urban Renewal by Matt Edens

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  • Ghost of Christmases Past: A Rare Commissioned House by George Barber Published 12/23/2009 at 10:25 a.m. 0 comments

    As Jack Neely observed in last week’s column about a Christmas murder mystery, violence was regular part of the holiday’s Victorian observance. Today’s conservatives might deplore the so-called “War on Christmas,” but in 1880s Knoxville, people celebrated the season with ...

  • Vagabondia’s Building on Market Square Up For Sale Published 12/9/2009 at 9:37 a.m. 0 comments

    Andie Ray is rightly famous for wearing many hats. But as an entrepreneur, preservationist, and downtown advocate, the chapeau-clad proprietor of Vagabondia on Market Square is a trendsetter well beyond women’s wear.

  • Bearden Calls Down the First Friday Thunder Published 11/25/2009 at 10:28 a.m. 0 comments

    In case you haven’t heard, there’s been a fight brewing between Bearden-area merchants and the Market Square District Association. Seems that Bearden—long used to selling art, antiques, and such to the upscale inhabitants of 37919—has been feeling a little forgotten ...

  • Fallow Fields Near the City's Center Published 11/11/2009 at 12:50 p.m. 0 comments

    Knoxville’s not Detroit, thankfully. But it’s hardly a “best case” scenario, either. The center-city’s population has certainly contracted over the last 50 years (by some 30,000, according to the 2000 census); 2010 may show things stabilizing somewhat, helped by a ...

  • Fort Sanders Primed for Preservation-Style Development Published 10/28/2009 at 10:20 a.m. 0 comments

    There are times, I’ll concede, that I underestimate Knoxville. And the city certainly never ceases to surprise me. I can’t add much more to the kudos handed round in wake of the S&W’s revival. But I will say this, Knoxville, ...

  • Brick Tudor Highlights Changing Fortunes of City, Suburbs Published 10/14/2009 at 10:54 a.m. 0 comments

    If you went on last weekend’s City People tour downtown, you may have heard a lot about the advantages of living “in the heart of things,” but the desire to live within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the office ...

  • The 2010 Census Will Confirm Growth Downtown Published 9/30/2009 at 11:18 a.m. 0 comments

    Demographically, it’s been an eventful decade in and around downtown Knoxville. Ten years ago, the Sterchi was still on the drawing board, much less the dozen or so subsequent projects that have made loft living a reality for an increasing ...

  • Rural Renewal Published 9/16/2009 at 5:25 p.m. 0 comments

    Before I ever started kindergarten, every fall featured a long car trip to Knoxville to take my much older brother to college. I can still remember sitting in the back of the station wagon, heading west from our suburban Hendersonville ...

  • Following the Fixer-Uppers in Parkridge Published 9/2/2009 at 2:20 p.m. 0 comments

    “There are 10 full-service restaurants on Market Square, not counting bars and ice-cream places,” observed Jack Neely in last week’s issue. Ten years ago, that would have struck many Knoxvillians as crazy talk. Back then, the arguments over downtown revitalization ...

  • Fourth and Gill's Appraised Value Published 8/19/2009 at 5:33 p.m. 0 comments

    Just when you thought it was all gentrified, here comes news that Fourth and Gill is undervalued. I’m talking about the article that ran in last week’s paper, highlighting how property tax appraisals in the neighborhood consistently lag behind the ...

  • A Starter Condo Open at Fire Street Lofts Published 8/5/2009 at 2:44 p.m. 0 comments

    >For years now, when stressing the symbiotic relationship between downtown and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding it, I’ve focused on how neighborhoods like Fourth and Gill and Parkridge or Old North and Old Sevier support downtown. Promoting real estate in Knoxville’s ...

  • A Restored Barber House Published 7/22/2009 at 4:51 p.m. 0 comments

    It’s fitting that, fresh from the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, I should be writing about this house on Washington Avenue. The owner is a retired engineer who once worked on the space program (starting, if I ...

  • Let’s Get Small Published 7/8/2009 at 1:14 p.m. 0 comments

    America’s suburbs aren’t all that has sprawled in the past 50 years. The homes within them expanded appreciably, too. From ’50s rambler to the modern McMansion, the average American house has grown ever-larger, even as the average American household has ...

  • Living in a true urban townhouse Published 6/24/2009 at 2:14 p.m. 0 comments

    Row houses, townhouses, or terraced houses—whatever they’re called—are the typical urban housing in much of Europe and America. And, whether they’re the bleak east Baltimore tenements that provided the backdrop for HBO’s The Wire or the stunning upper-crust buildings that ...

  • “This Neat Cottage” Published 6/10/2009 at 3:08 p.m. 0 comments

    Talk about a guy long enough, and people will start to think you know something about him. That’s certainly been my experience regarding Knoxville’s Victorian-era mail order architect George F. Barber. Like most Knoxvillians, I’d never heard of him before ...