Little Things – Subtle Shifts in the Summer Time City

I’ve recently written about some of the major summer events and openings such as Bella Luna and The Market. Those followed spring openings for Just Ripe, Jackson Avenue Market and Union Avenue Books as well as the re-location of Re-runs: Big news in every case.

This is about some little things I’ve noticed – not quite big enough for their own blog, most signify a step forward or a continuation in the slow march toward a vibrant urban environment. Much of what you’ll find was gathered from the Knoxville News Sentinel or particularly in many cases, Josh Flory’s excellent Property Scope blog.

Sidewalk Work Continues on Union Avenue

Union Avenue is a discussion unto itself. The sidewalk work near Gay Street continues with an expanded scope due to problems beneath the surface. City Council had to authorize significant increases in funding and now the sidewalk on both sides of the street near Gay Street are torn up. The sidewalk and street repair on Market near Cumberland appears to have been finished. They were part of the same proposal in the beginning, if I remember correctly.

Arnstein Building becoming condos and a subsidiary of Ruby Tuesdays

On the same street, construction continues on the Arnstein Buidling with plans announced this summer to bring the exterior closer to its original appearance than it has been in years. The bulging windows some of you may remember are currently gone. I’m not sure if they will be back.

The Regions Bank Building is now the William F. Conley Building.

The Regions Bank Building has been renamed after the owner’s father, though someone posting to the News Sentinel site questioned how much an honor it would be to have a building named after you if the building is ugly and atop it sits a mockery to the city’s progress in the form of a massive abandoned digital clock.
The UT Conferance Center building continues to be re-tiled, though I’m not sure its appearance will improve. That’s another ugly building which has stood just long enough to become protected. I’m a member of Knox Heritage and I’m very happy they do what they do, but is an old building ever just an ugly old building? I know, I know.

Reruns in the Daylight Building, Union Avenue, Knoxville

The funky new sign – it spins!

Reruns got a cool, new sign this summer.

Bricks have been laid at 36 Market Square along Wall Avenue.

The Interior of 36 Market Square continues to take shape.

Construction continues on other buildings, as well: 36 Market Square has been bricked and it appears the bottom floor will house one business as the multiple entrances seem to be gone from the Wall Avenue side. The Miller’s Building on Gay Street is covered in scaffolding the S and W proceeds with its transformation to a beauty school.

The S and W Grand changing to a beauty school.

Esthiology? I thought they were going to cut hair!

The property which is now a parking lot beside the State Street Garage is being discussed as a location for new construction of condos which would be rented. Whether it fits with the Marble Alley vision or not is unclear, though it appears that project is still in development. The high-rise condo project proposed for the north-east corner of Main and Henley has been abandoned.

Large, missing tree near the Market Square stage.

Finally, a tree went missing from Market Square just last week. Has anyone seen our tree? Is someone preparing for winter by hoarding the last of the downtown firewood?

Sometimes it’s all a mess to walk through, but it signifies progress and comes at a time when not much is happening nationally, so we should be pleased. It also means that if we ever get our economic act together nationally, Knoxville will probably explode – and we’ll be there to see it.

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