As I’ve done from time to time, today I’ve got a few images that never found a place in a blog post, but which I’d like to pass on with a few thoughts sprinkled in. Most of these come from my annual Christmas walk around the city. Churches are among my favorite buildings to photograph downtown as they vary greatly in appearance, but several are quite beautiful. Here, I’ve gotten the First Baptist Church and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Immaculate Conception, particularly, is difficult to photograph because there isn’t enough hill-top to get enough distance for a shot, so you are left with long-distance shots like these from the Gay Street Viaduct.
From that same viaduct, several other currently significant sites are visible. The McClung Warehouses were recently featured in a nice summary article in Metropulse, in which, interestingly, a connection to the Rolling Stones was noted. Of course, the buildings were the site of a huge fire in recent years and a massive battle ever since. With the pieces of Jackson Avenue development coming together at last, it is imperative that we get this eyesore into the hands of someone who has a vision of what the two remaining buildings could become.
Across from the Gay Street Viaduct is the Broadway Viaduct which is slated for destruction and re-configuration sometime this year. Dates have not, to my knowledge been revealed.
I snapped the photograph of John H. Daniel because of what is now missing: the graffiti. For a long time it has been covered, or at least large portions of it have been covered with random tags. It’s very nice to see the mess has been cleaned up. Just around the corner a new bar has made an appearance in recent weeks. I’m not sure of the name, as it is not displayed, but the wagon wheels suggest what is inside: a country-western bar. It’s fascinating to think we haven’t really had one up until now as popular as country music is in east Tennessee. I hope they have live music and local country musicians are afforded a new outlet.
A couple of signs also caught my eye recently. I really liked the poster for the Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang concert which I saw outside the Tennessee Theatre. I didn’t go to the concert, which likely was a mistake. I’ve seen them both before, but they are very good. The other sign sits outside Nothing Too Fancy and it just seems clever, as does much of the stock inside the store. It’s Urban Girl’s favorite sign in the city and always gives her a laugh.
A look down deserted Union Avenue on Christmas day is a stark contrast to the image on Market Square a week or two ago. The day warmed slightly and the patios seemed to instantly fill with Knoxvillians anxious to enjoy outdoor dining. It’s a promise of things to come. I’m feeling this spring will be an explosive time for downtown with great events, new businesses opening, including Urban Outfitters, and bigger crowds than ever enjoying the city.