Downtown Knoxville Ten Day Planner (8/20 – 8/29/2017)

Andrew Johnson Building, 912 South Gay Street, Knoxville, July 2017

If you want to be certain your event is included on this calendar, I’ll need your event two weeks in advance. The absolute best way to make sure I include your event is to make a FB event and invite me – two weeks in advance. My FB “events” are the one place I’ll go to every time – if you invite me before I write the post.

If you see an event I’ve missed and you’d like to plug, please comment below. I am no longer able to add to the list events about which I was not informed in advance – it’s just gotten too big, and that’s a good thing. Staying true to the scope of the blog, I’ll only list downtown or near-downtown events. Any number of venues outside of downtown have some great events, but I have to draw a line somewhere. If you want to add those in a comment, that’s fine. Please “Friend” me (Alan Sims) on Facebook and invite me to your events. Look over to the right of this post and not only “friend” me, but “like” Inside of Knoxville. Subscribe (also to the right) to make sure you catch all the posts.

Want to get the word out more directly and get more eyes on your event or business? Consider placing a front page ad! For $500 (or $750 for an ad twice as large) you get a full month exposure with around 70,000 views. Contact me for details @

Sunday, August 20

Monday, August 21

Tuesday, August 22

Tennessee Theatre Blade Sign Re-lighting, Gay Street, Knoxville, August 2016

Wednesday, August 23

Thursday, August 24

  • Special Events Community Meeting, Civic Coliseum Ballroom, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Randy Moore / Evan Taylor Jones, Visitor Center, Noon, Free
  • WDVX’s Listener Appreciation Day and Six O’Clock Swerve featuring Three Star Revival, Barley’s, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Pride Center Open House, UTK Pride Center, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks featuring REI, Balter Beerworks, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Tamale-Making 101 with Good Golly Tamale, The Hive, 6:00 PM, SOLD OUT!  
  • Top Hat Recording Studio presents “T for Texas, T for Tennessee”: Forrest Jourdan and the Barstool Romeos / White Gregg with The Rocky Four, Pilot Light, 7:00 PM / 9:30 PM, $5 / $5
  • Greg Tardy, Bistro at the Bijou, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Evan Taylor Jones, Preservation Pub, 10:00 PM
  • Three Star Revival, Barley’s, 10:00 PM

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Three Downtown Businesses Will Soon Be Forced to Relocate

Businesses Along the Western Side of the Jackson Avenue Viaduct, Knoxville, August 2017

It’s a price of progress. While needed infrastructure tasks are completed which allow us to continue to grow, a price is sometimes paid. Jackson Avenue has been under re-construction and renovation for months and it’s been hard for the businesses and residents there. That looks nearly complete and it brings up the next infrastructure challenge: The Jackson Avenue Viaduct.

You know the one – the one with the brick ramps. It’s unique for our downtown and one of my favorite spots to ride my bike. Bouncing across the bricks I can pretend to be riding the cobbles in a small European town in the Tour de France. Actually, it scares me a bit, but I do think of those cobbles.

The Jackson Avenue Viaduct, Knoxville, August 2017

The Jackson Avenue Viaduct, Knoxville, August 2017

The Jackson Avenue Viaduct, Knoxville, August 2017

The Jackson Avenue Viaduct, Knoxville, August 2017

It was built at the same time the 100 block of Gay Street was elevated, in 1919. While the Gay Street Viaduct was replaced in 2005 and the structure under the 100 block was replaced just a few years later, the Jackson Avenue viaduct is the original. It has been given a “poor” rating by TDOT, which “qualified it for participation in the federal bridge replacement program.” This is from the city’s Jackson Avenue Projects site.

The timeline for its replacement has shifted a number of times over the years the project has been discussed, but Rick Emmett recently responded to a reader of this blog, who helpfully passed along the information, by saying, the RFP, “will probably occur later this year with construction beginning in the Spring.”

Construction on Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, August 2017

According to Rick, ” . . . this project is using State and Federal money so we had to have State and Federal historic review as well as environmental review. These processes and decisions pretty much tied our hands as to possibilities and are the reason for this long timeline.”

Regarding the bricks, I had understood, perhaps a year ago, that the bricks would not return. That decision has been reversed. Rick stated, “In short the ramps have to go back almost exactly as they are today because they were deemed historically significant and contributing structures to the buildings there that have historic tax credits associated . . . that will be included in our RFP. Earlier we did not think that was feasible due to age and condition of the bricks.”

I consider that good news as the bricks are one of the most distinctive features of that viaduct. Many of them are worn pretty badly, however, so I contacted Rick to see if they would use the original bricks or replace them with similar bricks. He told me the original brick will be returned. I assume some will have to be replaced with newer bricks and additional bricks will be needed because several large patches no longer contain the original bricks.

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A Look Inside the Keener Lighting Building + Future Plans

A reader joked the other day that I must get tired of writing about one building and being asked about ten more. I don't, really, but it is hard to keep up with all the construction and various projects underway around downtown. Still, I find it a … [Continue reading]

We’re All Making Choices

This past Sunday, in what has become an almost regular event, another rally was held on Market Square. The rally, organized literally overnight, was held in response to the white supremacist and white nationalist marches in Charlottesville, which … [Continue reading]

Electric Company Lofts Opens Quietly, Extends Downtown Fringes

While it might seem that the stock of older, pre-war downtown buildings available for redevelopment has been expended, there are actually quite a few. Not necessarily located in what we now think of the downtown core, quite a few sit just to the … [Continue reading]