I’ll finish the Old North Knoxville Victorian Home Tour today with the final five homes in the tour. As yesterday, I want to thank the neighborhood association for the tour and also to credit the great calendar each guest is given which contains all the information about the homes which you’ll find here. Unlike yesterday, and thanks to a hint from a friend, I can credit Arin Streeter who does both the research and the writing for each of the homes. Very nicely done – and without it the tour would not be nearly so interesting.
221 E. Oklahoma is the address for a Queen Anne cottage, built in 1910 by a foreman for southern railway. Arin writes, “The recessed leaded glass transom and sidelights at the front entry, the original woodwork, built-in dining room hutch, and original tile fireplaces and mantels indicate strong Victorian influence.” And I’m a sucker for Victorian and noticed each of these features, starting with the beautiful doors, but didn’t get a chance to photograph them all.
Other than modernizing the kitchen and bathroom, not much has changed from 1910 forward inside or outside the home. In addition to the woodwork and fireplaces, we particularly like the bathroom shown here and loved the seating on the back porch/breakfast room.
Built in 1910, 225 E. Oklahoma first served as home to a widow, Nora Callahan and her three young adult children, though they only lived in the home for about three years. The home must have been among the earlier homes in the neighborhood to be “completely rehabilitated” as it got the thorough treatment in 1997. We really enjoyed the style of the home including chandeliers in bedrooms, re-purposed objects for furniture and storage pieces and the beautiful kitchen.
The home at 303 E. Oklahoma dates to right around 1895. One of many employees of the railroads to live in the community, the home first belonged to Joseph Householder and his wife Mary. The family of the couple inhabited the home for decades. We loved the lower and upper porches and the colored glass in the front bay window, which Arin noted isn’t uncommon for the period. That it survived pleases me greatly.
Like many of the homes, the fireplaces are eye-catching. In this case the tile is original and the mantels, while period appropriate, were installed more recently. I loved the long, central corridor with its arch in the center and we both appreciated the bathroom on the upper level which is a recent re-design.
The very cute cottage at 302 E. Scott Avenue was built in 1892 and purchased as a rental home from the beginning. It remained a rental home for virtually all the previous century. The current owners have “renovated the kitchen and added a new bedroom.” They’ve also added, “a mantel to the living room that was salvaged from UT’s President Humes’ home.”
The final home on the tour, 505 E. Scott Avenue, sort of defies description and needs a much more skilled photographer than this one to do it justice. I’d love to say I was very articulate throughout my tour of the home, but I kept using one three-letter word: Wow. Really. Around every turn. It is an amazing home, very large ( just over 6,000 sq. ft) home with incredible features throughout – and it’s for sale, so you could own this home for a price ($699,900).
Built around 1889, “by David Getaz, a Swiss immigrant who studied architecture in Paris,” he lived in it around five years and it was also owned in its early years by “William H. Sterchi, one of the founders of Sterchi Brothers Furniture Company.” Vacant for several years in the early 1940s, it became a “tourist home,” with, “as many as 14 guest rooms . . . divided our of the 11 rooms of the original house.” By the 1950s it became an apartment house, with restoration beginning in 1990 to its original use as a single-family home.
It’s incredible how much of the original beauty and details remain. I promise, the photographs do not come close to showing the amazing features of the home. It starts in the entryway, as you can see above, with alternating colored boards on the floor, a long beautiful hallway directly ahead, a gorgeous fireplace just to the right of the entry and a grand staircase rising to the sharp right from a parlor or waiting area.
Colored glass, ornate plaster-work on the ceiling and intricate mantels start in the sitting room to the left and flow throughout the home. You can see both the ceiling plaster and an incredibly detailed mantel above as examples. In the photographs below you can see a secondary, more functional staircase as well as the beautiful kitchen, dining room and one of the bathrooms. That particular bathroom felt like a large bedroom with bath facilities added. It was very spacious.
The bedrooms were just as appealing. The turret in the corner holds its own attraction, of course. The stairs were just as stunning looking down as looking up and even the space along the way offered another appealing feature: a beautiful stained-glass window. I can’t say enough about how beautiful it really was. It would have been worth the $15 just to have a tour of the one home.
And so ends another great tour of homes in Old North Knoxville. It’s a special neighborhood and it’s gone over the last hundred and twenty years from being the hot spot in the city to neglect and disrepute and full-circle to one of the most desired locations in the city. If you love Victorian homes there are just so many in our supply. It’s also got the twin appeal of proximity to downtown which is more valued now than it has been in several generations in Knoxville.