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Detour de Knoxville

The proudest feature of Summit Hill: the big brick building hovering over the intersection of Summit Hill and Henley. It was the 'Deaf and Dumb Asylum,' a major progressive institution and arguably Knoxville's chief claim to fame in 1948.

This is the standard detour. Take the old Henley Street exit, and counterintuitively, turn right, following the sign to Western, to turn left on Western.

The proudest feature of Summit Hill: the big brick building hovering over the intersection of Summit Hill and Henley. It was the "Deaf and Dumb Asylum," a major progressive institution and arguably Knoxville's chief claim to fame in 1948.

This is the standard detour. Take the old Henley Street exit, and counterintuitively, turn right, following the sign to Western, to turn left on Western.

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  • The L&N train station served as a major passenger terminal for 65 years; it's described inside and out in James Agee's Pulitzer-winning novel, 'A Death in the Fmaily.' Rehabbed for the World's Fair in 1982, it now holds mostly offices.

This is the standard detour. Take the old Henley Street exit, and counterintuitively, turn right, following the sign to Western, to turn left on Western.
  • The proudest feature of Summit Hill: the big brick building hovering over the intersection of Summit Hill and Henley. It was the 'Deaf and Dumb Asylum,' a major progressive institution and arguably Knoxville's chief claim to fame in 1948.

This is the standard detour. Take the old Henley Street exit, and counterintuitively, turn right, following the sign to Western, to turn left on Western.
  • The legendary Gem Theater, a black movie theater and performing-arts stage that thrived for 40 years, was just northeast of the intersection of Central street and Summit Hill. A local psychotherapists' office maintains a small museum to the Gem.

This is the standard detour. Take the old Henley Street exit, and counterintuitively, turn right, following the sign to Western, to turn left on Western.
  • Old City rests on Central. Which was previously known as Crozier Street. Which was also known as the Bowery. Stretching from the river wharf to the railroad yards, from the 1880s to around 1910 it was a half-dozen blocks of saloons, whorehouses, cocaine parlors, gambling dens and poolrooms. Except for the Old City, it's all torn down.

This is the standard detour. Take the old Henley Street exit, and counterintuitively, turn right, following the sign to Western, to turn left on Western.
  • The venerable Old Gray Cemetery is perhaps the most famous burying place in East Tennessee. It is the final home of the much-admired and much-despised Parson Brownlow, impressionist artist Catherine Wiley and influential feminist Lizzie Crozier French, among others. From the street it looks much smaller than it is. You have to drive in, carefully through the marble funeral carriage-width gates, to get a good sense of it.

Give your regards to Broadway. For this detour, from Summit Hill turn left onto Henley, which quickly becomes Broadway.
  • St. John's Lutheran, a lovely old marble church on Emory Place, stands to the left of an interesting irregular open space between Victorian buildings. in the 1880s and 90s it supported an ultimately unsuccessful market square, with a a crookedly shaped market house known as the Central Market. Look for Harb's Carpet and Oriental Rugs, an 80-year-old business opened by enterprising Arab immigrants in the 1920s and still run by the same family.

Give your regards to Broadway. For this detour, from Summit Hill turn left onto Henley, which quickly becomes Broadway.
  • This Flatiron-style building at the crossing of Central and Broadway roughly marks the northern boundary of old downtown.

Give your regards to Broadway. For this detour, from Summit Hill turn left onto Henley, which quickly becomes Broadway.
  • At Three Rivers Market, a 30-year-old food co-op specializing in organic and health foods, you can find local cheeses and salsas and breads, and where you can scoop fresh coffee, oatmeal or four different varieties of mustard seed from neat bins.

Give your regards to Broadway. For this detour, from Summit Hill turn left onto Henley, which quickly becomes Broadway.
  • Saint Tattoo: The counterculture icon

Give your regards to Broadway. For this detour, from Summit Hill turn left onto Henley, which quickly becomes Broadway.
  • Dixson's: One of Knoxville's most reliable purveyors of pigburgers. Behind a bar, it's mainly a takeout place open only on weekend evenings.

Magnolia's Blossoms: Magnolia Avenue may get some bad press, but it's one of Knoxville's loveliest routs, with a lot of historic architecture intact.
  • Mary's Tamales is Knox County's only restaurant that specializes in the dish.

Magnolia's Blossoms: Magnolia Avenue may get some bad press, but it's one of Knoxville's loveliest routs, with a lot of historic architecture intact.
  • The Magnolia detour racks up on unique dining. Take Pizza Palace. The only pizza-and-beer drive in we know of.

Magnolia's Blossoms: Magnolia Avenue may get some bad press, but it's one of Knoxville's loveliest routs, with a lot of historic architecture intact.

With the construction on I-40, we propose that we endeavor to forge directly through central Knoxville, just like our pioneer forebears in the era of the station wagon.

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