In getting to know Knoxville one route is to explore the city in broad segments divided into North, East, South, West and Downtown. Knoxville is historically a diverse city with many different communities, interesting architecture, food and shopping. I think you will find each of these areas has something unique to offer!
Once uopn a time (about 15 years ago), the only time you were downtown was to go to the courthouse or post office. No doubt the biggest evolution in Knoxville during the last decade would have to be the Downtown area. While it has been (and still is) the city’s location for city and county municipal offices, the drastic change has been in retail development and a new emerging art and business scene.
Traditionally the downtown area was determined by markers such as First & Second Creek, railroads and the river. Yet, as the evolution and development of Knoxville has occurred, so has the definition of Downtown. It is safe to say that while Gay Street is the heart of the area downtown has expanded to include nabes such as Fort Sanders, Emory Place district , Downtown North, and parts of the Morningside area east of First Creek.
Boasting the oldest parts of Knoxville and the city’s oldest buildings, downtown Knoxville is a stroll through the past and alive with the future. Also key to downtown’s redevelopment were Market Square, the Old City, the World’s Fair Park, and Volunteer Landing on the riverfront, where residents and visitors will find shops and restaurants galore.
There also several larger office buildings including the Riverview Tower, the TVA Towers, the City-County Building and the Andrew Johnson Building to name a few. In addition to newer construction the notable historic structures include Blount Mansion, the reconstructed James White Fort, the Bijou Theatre, Tennessee Theatre, Old City Hall, and the L&N Station. Fortunatley all this renovation has made living downtown better than ever! Some recently renovated building such as the Sterchi lofts, the Holston, JFG building, the Burwell, and the Lerner Lofts provide beautiful spaces for residents to live and play in the city.
Every month downtown Knoxville is host to First Friday events that are focused on art, music and community and occur anywhere in the Old City, Market Square or 100 Block of Gay Street. With new galleries and shops popping up along the side streets this event seems to be growing faster than any other in the city. While west Knoxville has more of the national chain style restaurants it is all about local eateries and shops downtown. Some Knoxville classics include Tomato Head, Nama, Downtown Grill & Brewery and Bistro @ the Bijou. After a filling meal you can stroll down Gay Street to Mast General Store and then head over to Market Square for some shopping at Bliss.
Looking for your dream home in these neighborhoods? Take a minute to learn more about schools, shopping, and homes for sale in and around Downtown Knoxville below. Contact me today for more information!
Written by, Shannon Foster-Boline
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