Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens 2024 (Part Two)

1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

This is a continuation of the Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens which was held this past weekend. If you missed the first part, check it out here. In this portion we’ll look at three more homes, two gardens and two amazing collections inside two of the homes.

The home pictured above, at 1015 Luttrell Street (The Dr. Benjamin Franklin Young House, Whetsel Home), completed in 1890 represented “part of the first wave of suburban development in the neighborhood . . .” It might be hard to think of Fourth and Gill as suburban, but it began a trend that would continue and grow farther afield with the advent of common ownership of automobiles: You no longer had to live near your work. While Fourth and Gill feels very connected (a short walk) to downtown, it seemed boundary breaking at the time.

1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

Dr. Young and his wife Alsie lived in the home, which is the lone survivor of his legacy which once included a Hospital and a High School named for him, both of which have since been demolished. The home itself followed a larger neighborhood trend, being divided into four apartments and allowed to deteriorate significantly over the next decades. The Whetzels, who lived across the street purchased it in 2005 and have lovingly restored it.

The home is stunningly beautiful and it’s hard to imagine it in the condition described above. The staircase, immediately inside the front door (and featured on the front of this year’s booklet) sets the tone for a stroll through the beautiful home. The art above and below it also portends what I enjoyed most about the home: a lifetime collection of eclectic art including a range of styles from the very old to the abstract, from oils and pastels to textured surfaces, statuary, and even framed album covers. It was worth the price of the tour for me.

1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
1015 Luttrell Street, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

The home reflects the neighborhood ethos of preserving what can be saved while making the home fit modern needs and sensibilities, and blending the two seamlessly. The home includes lots of the rich woods that set that era of home apart, while including lovely bathrooms and a kitchen fully reflecting our current era. A slide show on loop displayed the course of renovations the house has navigated.

610 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

Next we wandered through two gardens, one at 610 Caswell Avenue and the other across the street at 605 Caswell Avenue. The word “oasis” aptly describes both spots, each of which did not exist five years ago. The stump pictured above drew gasps and lots of photos as a repurposed planter (when an older tree had to be removed). The path down the hill to the back of 605 felt like stepping into a different world.

605 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
605 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

Built in 1905, the home at 605 Caswell Avenue (E.B. and Bertie Jones House, Lukacz Home) sits on a piece of property purchased originally for $183. Unlike many of the other homes in the neighborhood, this home failed to find long-term owners, turning over many times in its early years and then spending “decades as a rental property.” Fortunately, a series of owners in more recent years completed renovations in 2005 and 2017 to return the home to its original beauty.

605 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
605 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
605 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

The current owners have owned the home since 2019 and they are the ones responsible for the lovely gardens pictured above. Previously featured on the tour (you can search for the address on the website — or Google — to see the previous article), the large difference this time around is a beautifully remodeled kitchen.

Some of my favorite features in the home include the sunroom on the back, as well as the breakfast terrace in the garden, and the black and white bathroom just off the garden. The closet in the primary bedroom captured the fancy of Urban Girl, and the stained glass at the top of the stair case is a show-stopper.

601 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

Just next door to the previous house the home at 601 Caswell Avenue (Steward-Bingham House, Campbell Home) built in 1905 saw its original owners, the Stewarts, live there for just one year. The first long-term owners, the Bingham family, owned the home from the 1920s to the 1980s. The current owner purchased the home in 1989 and has “don extensive restoration of moldings and the stair case.” It is his collection of vintage items, particularly radios, but also including organs and lamps, that made exploring the house a revelation.

601 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
601 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
601 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
601 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024
601 Caswell Avenue, Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes and Secret Gardens, Knoxville, April 2024

I don’t begin to know enough to talk intelligently about the collections inside the home and there’s a chance I may do a follow-up article in the future on the collections seen here and the person behind them. Most contain parts that are no longer commonly manufactured and they all work. He’s connected some up via blue-tooth, which allowed great music to be heard throughout the home during the tour.

It’s another home that could be opened for tours as a museum for its contents as much as the structure. With all the radios, it’s easy to overlook some delectable art pieces, restored furniture and the general touch of whimsey that runs throughout. He has also worked on the structure and photographs of the renovations were displayed on the dining table.

This is another space I’d like to return and spend a long afternoon absorbing and learning about this amazing lifetime of accumulation and care.