Instead of trying to cram it all into one post, I’m going to give you a tour of three buildings on Market Square in this post and three others in a second post. There are only so many photographs I can cram into one post and, in this case if not most of the time, the photographs are the most important pieces for the readers who were unable to attend this tour.
What you are viewing in this post are buildings which are just a bit over 100 years old, some around a quarter of a century beyond that mark. That they have survived is remarkable, that they are so valued and vibrant today is something of a miracle. I will make the point once again, they are not that much older than the two buildings on Walnut which St. John’s Episcopal Church seems determined to destroy even as we celebrate their near contemporaries just a few blocks away.
The tour started above Cafe Four and the Square Room at 4 Market Square. It is home to dormitories and common areas for sixteen young people (according to the brochure, though the websites says, “twelve”) who are interns in a program called Knoxville Fellows. Their website indicates they are “learning how to follow the teachings of Jesus — exploring His values of being together, serving the city, and living out of truth.” Beyond that, I’m not sure what their internship involves. James Tremble of the Dirty Guv’nahs was, I believe, an intern there at one point.
So, what you find are separate dorms for men and women with really good views. The men’s common room resembles (and was actually labeled) a “man cave,” while the women’s common room was quite attractive and prepared for company. A ping pong game continued uninterrupted as people passed all around looking at the quarters.
Across the square at 7 Market Square, just above Steamboat Sandwiches is one of the most beautifully appointed condos I’ve seen in downtown Knoxville. Though I’d seen it before, I found it just as striking a second time around. It’s pretty heavy on beautiful wood, which is something I’m partial to. Little touches from the wine cabinet to the very clever drop-leaf table in the kitchen make it a very special place. The hardwood floors throughout and the tile work in the bathroom only add to the charm.
The balcony is worth the price of the place, alone. With its distinctive arches drawing eyes from Market Square, to its railings draped with colorful flowers, it’s beautiful from above or below. As for outdoor above-ground seating on the square, this is unparalleled. I’d love to have my coffee on that balcony every morning.
I’ll end this post with one other property, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post when I attended an author reception there. Located at 22 Market Square, the space is actually above Earth to Old City, though the entrance is through Oodles interior courtyard. Formerly a residence, the space, now called Market 211. Sara Spangler (email@example.com) is the booking agent for both this space and the entertainment space available in the Sunsphere.
The space features a long entertainment area with a table in front of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Market Square and a beautiful kitchen at the other end. Two bedrooms are included, one smaller and one master. It’s a delightful space, but that’s not all that the company has to offer for entertainment usage – there’s more to explore on the roof-top.
I’d noticed people on top of the building, but had never been given a chance to walk around up there. It’s a small space – maybe room to entertain around fifty people without chairs, but with a buffet line. The views are great, of course, and a steady breeze blew as we walked around, keeping it from being unbearably hot. I think that space is considered separate from the other, but I’m assuming both could be rented in conjunction.
Tomorrow I’ll take you through three other spaces, one that was re-developed quite a long time ago and two that have returned to usefulness very recently.