Veterans, Beer and Old Homes: A Knoxville Boost for All Three

Fourth and Gill Neighborhood, Knoxville, October 2018 (Photo used as an example of historic homes, check City of Knoxville maps for locations of H1 zones)

Just a couple of months ago I wrote about the Brewing and Distilling Center. The business, located just off Broadway at 130 Bearden Place is the brainchild of Todd White who also founded the former Professional Brewing Science program at South College. The center offers a 13 week, 154 contact hour certificate program to train individuals to assume brewing and distilling positions – or to start their own business in the industry.

When I met with him in the winter, Dr. White told me that the program at South College, which he ran for four years, had a focus specifically on training and helping veterans find employment in the industry. They had great success there, but an obstacle at the new center was obtaining approval for veterans to be able to apply their GI benefits toward their tuition. That approval has been given beginning with the 2019 Fall Session, beginning on August 26.

Todd White, The Brewing and Distilling Center, 130 Bearden Place, Knoxville, April 2019

As we’ve experienced locally, craft breweries and the brewing and distilling industries are expanding rapidly. The same is true across the country and this provides an opportunity for careers here and elsewhere. With so many veterans struggling to find their place in society once their service ends, this might be one answer. If you’d like to learn more, go to:, or call Dr White, at 865.622.7511.

There is also potentially significant news for historic homes in the city and their potential owners. Knox Heritage has announced a new grant program for homeowners living in an H-1 overlay district. The funding is derived from the City of Knoxville’s preservation Fund and it aims to help with the expense of additional required costs that may come from living in the district and making exterior repairs or improvements.

Making changes to the exterior of a home in an H-1 district requires obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness which may require that the changes or repairs be done in a specific way, which may entail more expense. It is a reimbursement program and the reimbursement, which can include expenses up to $2000, also includes application fees for the Historic Zoning Commission.

Knox Heritage Staff at Christmas (Annette Brun, Julie Schwab, Janine Bolin, Hollie Cook, Todd Morgan)

Most owners who live in historic homes which are restricted by protective zoning understand that the responsibility of preserving and honoring the property brings potential extra expense. Even so, the expense can be very difficult for homeowners and this is a modest assist in an effort to have homes that need repair can get it, or homes that need to be returned to their original state may have that work completed without the entire financial burden falling to the owner. Well preserved historic homes make our city a better place.

Per the press release:

Property owners must reside in the residence seeking gap funding for projects. The program does not apply to commercial or rental properties. Total income for all residents must be 100% of median income or lower to qualify. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis based on the date the application is received. Knox Heritage will begin accepting the first applications for review on July 10. All projects must be completed by December 1, 2019. For more information, please visit or contact Hollie Cook, Knox Heritage Director of Education at 865-523-8008 or by email at

Both the GI program and these local grants are great examples of how just a little help from taxpayers can go a long way in improving the lives of our citizens and, in turn, make a better place for us all to live.