Here’s the other part I promised last week from the Fourth and Gill Home Tour. Today we’ll look at the second half of the great tour offered by the homeowners there and several of the stops offered something just a little bit different from the rest of the tour.
The Dunn-Crenshaw House, constructed in 1910 by Oscar Dunn only served as his home for a couple of years. As are many of the original residents of this neighborhood, he’s a notable figure from Knoxville history. His company built several notable landmarks still in surviving in the city, including old Knoxville High School, soon to have a new life and the Church of the Holy Ghost on Central. The current owners, Kaye and Allen Osborne received a Fantastic Fifteen Award from Knox Heritage for the restoration work they’ve completed. We adored this home. It really is a show-place.
Brownlow School, completed in 1913, served students into the 1990s. It was featured in the film October Sky in 1999, fell into disrepair and was saved from demolition by community members. In 2009 it opened to new residents and now provides 35 homes within its walls. Two were on the tour and I’ve been in a third and they all have a little different twist depending on whether the home is in a classroom, gym, office or other space.
While there are some apparent clues to the former use of the building, for the most part the condominiums are not obviously located in a former school. Some offer very high ceiling and the second one I toured, unit 203 offers great views. It is also for sale.
The Jesse Agee Cottage, built in 1905 offered some excellent touches including a spectacular bit of woodwork just off the kitchen. Jesse Agee, the builder of the home was the great uncle to Knoxville’s most famous son, James Agee. Katy Hawley purchased the home in 2007 and by last year had resolved some serious structural challenges which had developed. Urban Woman and I agree she gets the “Best Touch of the Day” by provided sweet iced tea just before we reached the complete dehydration point. Special thanks, Ms. Katy.
The James Cameron House, built in 1907 is deceptively large. Originally built as an investment, it didn’t sell and Mr. Cameron moved in in 1909 and immediately rented the lower floor to a tenant. It’s the lower floor, located below the grade that gives the home its impressive size. The size worked against it by allowing a proliferation of rental units to be sub-divided until as many as seven separate apartments were carved out within its walls. The current owners saved the original elements still remaining, placed period doors and other pieces in the home and reconstituted it into a single family home which is something that it had never been in its history.
The Powers-Sanders House at 800 N. Fourth Avenue serves at the neighborhood center for the community, and is also known as “The Birdhouse.” Often hosting musicians and artists, you’ll see some of their events listed on this web site. Inexplicably, I failed to take a photograph of the exterior, so I’ve included the picture from their website. You’ll find it here along with a complete list of their upcoming events, which are open to everyone.
The Cummings House, built in 1906 at 820 N. Fourth Avenue is better known as Sassy Ann’s. After life as a single family home, then sub-divided into apartments, the structure was converted to a bar and restaurant in 1977. Vicki Vinson has owned it since 1998 and the bar has moved from live music to a dance club which is often voted Knoxville’s best in Metro Pulse.
It was, as always, a great tour and, after looking at Sassy Ann’s both Urban Woman and I delighted at the sight of a Trolley to carry us back to our starting point. Hats off to whomever came up with the Trolley idea. We’ll be back for the next tour and I’d encourage each of you to explore this great neighborhood.