Knoxville in Tennessee

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0

South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0

Knoxville is a city in and the county seat of Knox County in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 United States census, Knoxville’s population was 190,740, making it the largest city in the East Tennessee Grand Division and the state’s third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 869,046 in 2019. Knoxville is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee, whose sports teams, the Tennessee Volunteers, are popular in the surrounding area. Knoxville is also home to the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Supreme Court‘s courthouse for East Tennessee, and the corporate headquarters of several national and regional companies. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has positioned itself in recent years as a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

First settled in 1786, Knoxville was the first capital of Tennessee. The city struggled with geographic isolation throughout the early 19th century. The arrival of the railroad in 1855 led to an economic boom. The city was bitterly divided over the secession issue during the American Civil War and was occupied alternately by Confederate and Union armies, culminating in the Battle of Fort Sanders in 1863. Following the war, Knoxville grew rapidly as a major wholesaling and manufacturing center. The city’s economy stagnated after the 1920s as the manufacturing sector collapsed, the downtown area declined and city leaders became entrenched in highly partisan political fights. Hosting the 1982 World’s Fair helped reinvigorate the city, and revitalization initiatives by city leaders and private developers have had major successes in spurring growth in the city, especially the downtown area.

Downtown Knoxville © flickr.com - Will Fisher/cc-by-sa-2.0 Skyline © Nathan C. Fortner/cc-by-sa-3.0 Riviera Theatre on Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0 South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0 World's Fair Park with the Tennessee Amphitheater and the Sunsphere © AppalachianCentrist/cc-by-sa-4.0 Tennessee Amphitheater in Knoxville © Bigmacthealmanac/cc-by-sa-4.0
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World's Fair Park with the Tennessee Amphitheater and the Sunsphere © AppalachianCentrist/cc-by-sa-4.0
Knoxville’s two tallest buildings are the 27-story First Tennessee Plaza and the 24-story Riverview Tower, both on Gay Street. Other prominent high-rises include the Tower at Morgan Hill (21 stories), the Andrew Johnson Building (18), the Knoxville Hilton (18), the General Building (15), the Holston (14), the TVA Towers (12), and Sterchi Lofts (12). The city’s most iconic structure is arguably the Sunsphere, a 266-foot (81 m) steel truss tower built for the 1982 World’s Fair and, with the Tennessee Amphitheater, one of only two structures that remain from that World’s Fair. The downtown area contains a mixture of architectural styles from various periods, ranging from the hewn-log James White House (1786) to the modern Knoxville Museum of Art (1990). Styles represented include Greek Revival (Old City Hall), Victorian (Hotel St. Oliver and Sullivan’s Saloon), Gothic (Church Street Methodist Church and Ayres Hall), Neoclassical (First Baptist Church), and Art Deco (Knoxville Post Office). Gay Street, Market Square, and Jackson Avenue contain numerous examples of late-19th and early-20th century commercial architecture. Residential architecture tends to reflect the city’s development over two centuries. Blount Mansion (1791), in the oldest part of the city, is designed in a vernacular Georgian style. “Streetcar suburbs” such as Fourth and Gill, Parkridge, and Fort Sanders, developed in the late 19th century with the advent of trolleys, tend to contain large concentrations of Victorian and Bungalow/Craftsman-style houses popular during this period. Early automobile suburbs, such as Lindbergh Forest and Sequoyah Hills, contain late-1920s and 1930s styles such as Tudor Revival, English Cottage, and Mission Revival. Neighborhoods developed after World War II typically consist of Ranch-style houses. Knoxville is home to the nation’s largest concentration of homes designed by noted Victorian residential architect George Franklin Barber, who lived in the city. Other notable local architects include members of the Baumann family, Charles I. Barber (son of George), R. F. Graf, and more recently, Bruce McCarty. Nationally renowned architects with works still standing in the city include Alfred B. Mullett (Greystone), John Russell Pope (H.L. Dulin House), and Edward Larrabee Barnes (Knoxville Museum of Art).

Knoxville is home to a rich arts community and has many festivals throughout the year. Its contributions to old-time, bluegrass and country music are numerous, from Flatt & Scruggs and Homer and Jethro to the Everly Brothers (Music of East Tennessee). The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO), established in 1935, is the oldest continuing orchestra in the southeast. The KSO maintains a core of full-time professional musicians, and performs at more than 200 events per year. Its traditional venues include the Tennessee Theatre, the Bijou Theatre, and the Civic Auditorium, though it also performs at a number of non-traditional venues. The Knoxville Opera performs a season of opera every year, accompanied by a chorus. Knoxville was the location of Sergei Rachmaninoff‘s final concert in 1943, performed at Alumni Memorial Auditorium at the University of Tennessee. Knoxville’s underground music scene is rooted with the promotion by AC Entertainment founder Ashley Capps around 1979. AC Entertainment, a local entertainment group, sought to expand the city’s scene. In the 1990s, noted alternative rock critic Ann Powers, author of Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, referred to the city as “Austin without the hype”. Knoxville is also home to a vibrant punk rock scene, having emerged from venues in the Old City district, specifically the Mill & Mine and Pilot Light venues. Its underground music scene in punk and hardcore grew as early as 1979. Such punk and hardcore bands included UXB, the STDs, and Koro. The city also hosts numerous art festivals, including the 17-day Dogwood Arts Festival in April, which features art shows, crafts fairs, food and live music. Also in April is the Rossini Festival, which celebrates opera and Italian culture. June’s Kuumba (meaning creativity in Swahili) Festival commemorates the region’s African American heritage and showcases visual arts, folk arts, dance, games, music, storytelling, theater, and food. Autumn on the Square showcases national and local artists in outdoor concert series at historic Market Square, which has been revitalized with specialty shops and residences.

Read more on VisitKnoxville.com, VisitTheUSA.com – Knoxville, Wikivoyage Knoxville and Wikipedia Knoxville (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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