"I’m Working on a Building, Oh My Lord"

Construction is as much a part of every day life in downtown Knoxville as the hope of successfully navigating the never-yielding traffic at cross-walks. Sometimes the construction is exciting, as we anticipate the restoration of a building and the advent of useful retail, office space or new neighbors. Sometimes the construction is frustrating as sidewalks are blocked, debris is scattered about and noise is generated that echos off the canyon walls. Here is a sampling of some of each that I’ve run into lately.

These are two buildings being watched closely at the north end of Market Square. The first, on the Northwest corner used to be Gus’s. I miss his “Get Out of Iraq, Now” sign in the window. The building, however, had to go. It was crumbling. All that was saved was part of the facade. It is the oldest surviving facade on the Square. The new owners promise a “very different” kind of restaurant.

The opposite corner contains a building that had its facade removed, but the rest of the building is intact. I believe there will be condos on the top floors, but I’m not sure about the bottom. I finally caught some brick action happening, which is very exciting. I do wonder what will become of Knoxville’s one and only Graffiti Wall when this building is completed.

Here are a couple of photographs of workers on the top of the Daylight Building. What struck me about them was that they worked all weekend just to get the little piece of trim around the top of the building. It’s something little that hardly anyone will notice or give thought to after the building is finished, yet they were here, giving up a weekend, making the building look a little nicer.

The last photographs may not be considered construction at all, but more of a repair effort. This is very common and pretty frustrating for everyone. Sometimes it involves horrible noise or even worse odors. You have to say this crew is taking it all pretty well. I guess there’s always time to mug for a camera (check out the “thumbs up” in the last picture)!