Downtown Knoxville Ten Day Planner (9/22 – 10/1/2019)

Photo of Alan Lincoln, Courtesy of Bill Foster

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 $600 (or $900 for an ad twice as large) you get a full month exposure with around 80,000 views. Contact me for details @

Want to get more eyes on your event in the 10 Day Planner? For $50 your listing can be in bold-face type (see how you noticed this?). Plus, you can add up to three sentences describing the event! Email to Knoxvilleurbanguy@gmail. Include Bold Calendar Listing in your subject line.

Sunday, Sunday 22


Monday, September 23

Hull Dobbs Building, 835 N. Central Street, Knoxville, September 2019

Tuesday, September 24

  • The Nina and Pinta in Knoxville, 956 Volunteer Landing Lane, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, $6.50 – $8.50
  • Chalking for the Planet, Downtown Knoxville and Market Square, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • WDVX Blue Plate Special: Victoria Jones / Ben Arthur, Visitor Center, Noon, FREE!
  • Startup Day 2019, The Mill & Mine, 2:00 PM – Celebrate entrepreneurship and discover how Knoxville startups are reshaping our community and world at Startup Day 2019, featuring a “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition, the first general election face-off between Knoxville’s mayoral candidates and happy hour. Startup Day is the signature event of Innov865 Week, Knoxville’s annual entrepreneurship festival, running Sept. 23 – 27.


Wednesday, September 25


Thursday, September 26

  • Innov865 Investor Series with Bill Malkes, The Square Room @ Cafe 4, 6:00 PM – Join Knoxville entrepreneurs and investors for a fireside chat with Bill Malkes, cofounder and former CEO of GRIDSMART Technologies Inc., and Grady Vanderhoofven, Three Roots Capital CEO and managing partner of Meritus Capital, the lead investor in GRIDSMART. The evening features dinner, a cash bar, and engaging discussion on the community, social, and financial impacts of a successful business, with a spotlight on GRIDSMART and its acquisition by a $2 billion publicly-traded corporation.

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A Couple of Small Updates and a Final Tip of the Hat to an Urban Friend

Photo of Alan Lincoln, Courtesy of Bill Foster

Work will soon be underway on a couple of projects that might catch your eye as you walk around downtown. Neither are likely to change the course of downtown development, but they are each examples of the kind of work that gradually, yet inextricably alters our center city.

The first is at St. John’s Cathedral, where you may soon notice workers, particularly on the east and north sides. It’s the north side, facing the parking lot, that will see the most significant change. It was described in the Downtown Design Review Board meeting earlier this week as the remaining “ugly side of the building.”

Planned Changes to St. John’s Cathedral, 413 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, September 2019

Planned Changes to St. John’s Cathedral, 413 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, September 2019

Planned Changes to St. John’s Cathedral, 413 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, September 2019

This unique structure is beautiful on the other sides, and the proposed change would bring that side into a more harmonious relationship with the rest of the building. Added stone and an additional stained-glass window are included in the changes. Other modifications involve an entrance and a new “porte cochere.” It’s all part of a larger group of upgrades to the building. Culminating the efforts will be the installation of a new organ in the cathedral in October.

There will soon be a small patch of the Holiday Inn on Henley Street that will look oddly out of place. It’s part of a plan to alter the exterior and re-brand the hotel as a Marriott. A small portion of the front corner adjacent to The Tennessean will have a new window installation, and a new color, and the rooms inside the new windows will be renovated.

Planned Changes to Holiday Inn/Marriott, 525 Henley Street, Knoxville, September 2019

Planned Changes to Holiday Inn/Marriott, 525 Henley Street, Knoxville, September 2019

It’s a demonstration of the proposed changes to the Marriott Corporation who will have final say on the color and design. An effort is being made to make the new Marriott aesthetically compatible with the adjacent Tennessean. Once approved, the entire hotel will be transformed. This project, as well as the St. John’s project discussed above is being designed by McCarty Holsaple McCarty.

Finally, a word about the passing of a friend to many of us. I knew him for nearly ten years and had no idea I was addressing him by his last name — which is, I’m sure, as he preferred it. Lincoln was simply “Lincoln,” and I never questioned it. Earlier this year when he had a stroke, I had to ask for his full name in order to find him in the hospital. It turned out we shared the same name, Alan, but he never mentioned it.

I remember our early encounters, two older guys with hats and ponytails. He always told me I was copying him, but his coats were better. He told me I should shop at Goodwill, like him. I actually gave that a try on his recommendation. When we first met I asked him where he lived. “Half way between the Brew Pub and Pres Pub,” was all I got.

Lincoln, Metro Pulse Protest and Rally, Krutch Park, Knoxville, October 2014

For a while I wasn’t sure if he even liked me. We shared a table at the Blue Plate and he was friendly enough. Then I saw him on the street and he didn’t speak. As time went by we fell into an easy pattern of curmudgeonly banter. He always had something that got his dander up in one way or another. KAT could never satisfy him. The city was wrong-headed. Journalism was in the toilet. He’d get started and lean to one direction like he was summoning strength to go on in face of the absurdity. His confidence in his opinion never seemed to falter.

As the years went by, I saw more of his softer side. He was a gentleman — as long as you weren’t the current subject of his ire. He was very supportive of many of us. Two pictures I could find of him, included here, was at a rally for the then recently shuttered Metro Pulse. His sign supports Blank Newspaper. He was always very kind to me about the topics I covered.

Lincoln, Metro Pulse Protest and Rally, Krutch Park, Knoxville, October 2014

I suspect he had a life with some hard knocks, though he rarely offered me a glimpse of anything very personal. He’d talk about the cars he loved, music, the state of the city, but not so much about himself. I probably should have asked more, but I’m not sure I would have gotten anything beyond making him uncomfortable. Any information offered would have been highly suspect. He was a story-teller.

The last time I saw him, he’d been moved to another rehab facility and had some of his spirit back, but he was tired. His body didn’t seem to be rising to the challenge of recovery. Imagining him back on the street seemed unlikely. Imagining him living the way he likely would have been forced to live seemed tragic.

So, here’s a tip of the hat to Lincoln. He, like others who have passed in recent years and months, was an important part of the fabric of the city. His presence on the street, looking dapper with his sports coat, stylish hat and distinctive posture will be sorely missed. I’ll still see him in my mind when I round the corner in the places we crossed paths. I’ll carry his inquisitive, cranky, kind and complicated voice in my head. And I’ll miss him.

Plans for a commemoration of some sort, probably to be held at Downtown Grill and Brewery are underway for some time in the next couple of weeks.

Former Bowery and NV Nightclub Buildings to be Restored

  Two buildings at 125 East Jackson Avenue will be renovated and given a new use in a plan approved yesterday by the Downtown Design Review Board. Forming the east and south side of the courtyard across the street from Barley's, the two … [Continue reading]

Rhythm N Blooms Festival Embroiled in Dispute

*The following is based on a public document obtained directly from me by request from the Knox County Chancery Court. The interpretation of that document is mine alone. I have interpreted it to the best of my understanding and as accurately as I am … [Continue reading]

Knoxville’s Axle Logistics Builds Company, Plans Expansion and New Headquarters

Axle Logistics may not be a household name, but it's one of Knoxville's biggest recent success stories. Founders Jon Clay and Drew Johnson started the company in 2012 and it has grown to be one of the top 100 (out of 18,000) logistics companies in … [Continue reading]