KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — WATE has followed renovation efforts on a historic Old North Knoxville home on Oklahoma Avenue over the last few months,, but the house is just one of hundreds that make up the historic district.
The community was incorporated in January of 1889 and was one of a ring of suburbs that surrounded downtown Knoxville in a semi-circular pattern, according to a National register of Historic Places registration form.
Many years ago, the neighborhood was known as a “streetcar suburb,” according to the historic district’s website.
When the district’s nomination was approved in May 1992, it had 521 buildings with 495 contributing structures. The nomination form drew boundaries for the historic district from East Woodland Avenue between West Glenwood Avenue and North Central street to East Baxter Avenue and Armstrong Avenue.
The current historic district is significantly smaller than it was originally. The registration form says the historic district contains 324 acres, but the original boundaries included an area of 575 acres.
George F Barber, Charles Barber, and David Getaz are notable architects who designed many of the homes in the neighborhood, which mainly feature styles from the 1890s to 1940s. Some of the styles of those homes include:
- Folk Victorian
- Queen Anne
- Queen Anne Cottage
- American Four Square
- Colonial Revival
- Italian Renaissance Revival
- Tudor Revival
- Dutch Colonial Revival
- French Eclectic
523 East Oklahoma Avenue, which is being restored by investors Sean Bolen and Alison Hardy, falls into the Eastlake style. The registration form describes the house as a two and one-half story frame with weatherboard wall covering and a Gable roof with asphalt single covering and fish scale wood shingles in the gables. Other notable features listed include the homes double hung, two over two windows, stained glass, Queen Anne windows, and the one story wrap around porch.
According to the form, the Eastlake style was used at the same time as the Queen Anne, but is more vertical the Queen Anne styles and does not have the Queen Anne’s “elaborate bays and oriel windows.”
Historic Old North Knoxville Inc., explains that many homes in the district are zoned under an H-1 historic overlay, which is an overlay applied to the areas to protect and preserve the architectural features that are specific to the district. Before exterior repairs or modifications can be made to houses that are zoned as H-1, they must be approved by the Knoxville Historic Zoning Commission, the organization explained.
To learn more about the Old North Knoxville neighborhood, visit www.oldnorthknoxville.org.