Repass-Mill House, Old North Victorian Holiday Home Tour, Knoxville, December 2023 (Photograph by Amelia Bartlett)
(Ed. Note: Today’s and tomorrow’s articles — a two part feature — represent the contribution of guest writer Amelia Bartlett. Amelia is a screenwriter, blogger, and staff writer for Blank Newspaper.)
Every year there’s been something in the way of attending Historic Old North Knoxville’s Victorian Home Tour, a mere stone’s throw from my own neighborhood. Fate intervened this year when Inside of Knoxville’s Urban Guy himself asked if I could cover the tour while he was out of town. Needless to say, the experience did not disappoint!
All nine stops were fairly walkable in Sunday afternoon’s gorgeous weather — a stark contrast to Saturday’s torrential downpour, though homeowners shared they still saw hundreds of visitors despite the gale. Many served refreshments, and homeowners were all eager to share the details of their visions and renovations. What surprised me most was how much genial, enthusiastic conversation I shared with fellow visitors — all strangers to me but sharing the same love for local preservation and history.
Rose Funeral and Cremation
1421 N. Broadway
Rose Funeral and Cremation, an independently owned and operated Broadway mainstay (at its current location) since 1935. The brick facade building we see from the street was built around the original building, circa 1880, with the original staircase to that home still anchoring the center of Rose’s entryway. The interior features multiple rooms surrounding a peaceful courtyard, though my favorite part of this location’s tour was their resident therapy dog Ray (pictured), a five-year-old golden who gives wonderful hugs.
First Lutheran Church
1207 N. Broadway
The gothic castle-like facade can barely prepare visitors for the splendor of the stained-glass windows that sparkle within. The images chronicle the biblical stories of Jesus’s life, while memorial windows throughout the property depict Saints and other stunning religious imagery. If you turn away from the lectern, you can experience the sweeping aesthetic of the church’s organ, constructed in Hamburg, Germany, in 1974, which draws the eye upward to the arched wood ceiling. Beneath the church and opening into a playground on the lower level educates children in early childhood through middle school age.
700 E. Scott
This charming Craftsman style home is especially distinguished by its cedar shake siding, vibrantly aged with dynamic color range in the afternoon sunlight. The front door is framed by gorgeous diamond-shaped single-pane mullioned windows that make the entryway that much more inviting. Much of the interior wood accents have been either retained or restored to dark hardwood, contrasting with the lighter walls and smoother, more modern decorations. This home felt charming and cozy, with Christmas decorations aplenty!
510 E. Scott
Just down the street sits a quaint Queen Anne cottage that is painted for Christmas all year round. Stunning floral stained-glass panels flank the front door and are accompanied by a vast collection of stained-glass accent windows throughout the home. Great attention was paid to architectural authenticity in the restoration of this home, which is filled with period-era and ecclesiastical antiques that draw visitors back to an earlier time. The back porch enjoys a far-reaching view all the way to the Smoky Mountains.