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S&W's New Future

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The S&W staircase today.

Photo by Shawn Poynter, Shawn Poynter

The S&W staircase today.

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  • The S&W staircase today.
  • The S&W staircase as it once was.
  • Sweat and wonder: Developer John Craig looks out on Gay Street from a spot near where Lois Harris once played the organ for patrons.
  • Looks like a plan: Project manager Jim Buhl, left, and developer John Craig go over the original 1937 architect's drawings of the S&W. Craig obtained them from archives in Charlotte.
  • Isn't Slim here today? A historic shot of the long-gone cafeteria line. The new S&W Grand Café will offer some similar dishes, but with table service.
  • Salvage and workmanship: Jim Hickman’s construction crews have been at work inside the S&W since the spring, saving what’s practical to save, though much of the interior detail will be rebuilt anew.
  • Landmark: The unique 71-year-old art-deco facade of the long-embattled S&W. Regal Riviera's multiplex cinema is immediately to the left.

Empty for 27 years and repeatedly slated for demolition, downtown’s only deco wonder marks a turning point in Knoxville preservation.

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