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Chilhowee Park Stakeholders Participate in Planning its Future 
Chilhowee meeting

East Knoxville residents turned out for an open house Tuesday night at the Jacob Building as City staff and a consulting team heard their dreams of how Chilhowee Park might be used in the future.

“If you could look into a crystal ball and envision what you’d like this wonderful space to be, what would that look like,” said Bill Krueger, Principal with Conventions Sports and Leisure. 

As part of a $200,000 contract with the City, CSL is reviewing the current uses of Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center and how it might be used in the future. Following a study, survey and review of existing market conditions, CSL will develop a strategic plan and facility plan.

The evening community meeting followed day-long listening sessions with park tenants, event planners and other stakeholders. 

“This is just the beginning of our research,” said Krueger. “We want to keep hearing from the people who live in these neighborhoods and use the park.”

The evening idea-sharing was lively and engaging. About 65 people attended and had the opportunity to share with CSL representatives what they love about Chilhowee Park and what they think is missing. Also attending were several City Council members and a County Commissioner. 

Chilhowee meeting

Chilhowee meeting

Whether residents had grown up in East Knoxville or were newcomers, they expressed their love of the 81-acre park and history of the community. 

“We wanted to hear from the stakeholders and families who cherish Chilhowee Park as we hone a strategy in guiding the park’s future development,” said Chip Barry, the City’s Deputy Chief of Operations. Barry told the group this was the first step of the study with many more opportunities for people to be a part of the discussions.

Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center’s rich history dates back to national expositions in the early 1900s that drew the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Helen Keller. Louie Armstrong and His All Stars performed at the Jacob Building in 1957.  

The park is home to the Tennessee Valley Fair every fall and to The Muse and Golden Gloves Charities year-round. The Fair will celebrate its 100th year Sept. 6-15, 2019. 

Adjacent to Chilhowee Park is Zoo Knoxville, a top attraction for our City. The 53-acre zoo welcomed 512,112 visitors in 2018 and set a new attendance record for the fourth consecutive year.

Here are a few comments from last night’s attendees:

“Walkable, bikeable, family-oriented”
“Gathering place”
“Keep alive strong history of Knoxville”
“Welcoming entrances to the park”
“Calming green spaces”
“Space for artistic expression”
“Dog Park”
“Water features”’
“A park that encourages healthy lifestyles” 
“Farmers' market”

“It’s phenomenal how long Chilhowee has been part of the City and what it means to people,” said Krueger. 

Chilhowee meeting
Posted by ptravis On 07 February, 2019 at 4:21 PM