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Last year, the City of Knoxville accepted proposals through Dec. 20, 2021 from owners of historic residential or commercial buildings seeking funding for property-improvement projects through the Historic Preservation Fund program for the program year 2021-2022. The request for proposals (RFP) for Funding and tabulation for Preservation of Historic Buildings is available for viewing here.

Qualifying properties must be located within H-1 or NC-1 historic overlay districts within Knoxville city limits or listed (or eligible for listing) on the National Register of Historic Places. Applicants must own the property, present a deed of trust and owe no City or County property taxes. Applicants must attend a mandatory pre-proposal meeting; attendance details are included in the RFP. 

Through the Historic Preservation Fund program, established in 2014, the City has contributed more than $2.7 million to projects that improve historic buildings. Recipient projects include home museums Blount Mansion and the Mabry-Hazen House; performance venues the Bijou and Tennessee theaters; and commercial buildings the Cal Johnson Building, Kerns Bakery and the Hull-Dobbs Building. This year’s program is funded with $300,000, which is intended to fund multiple projects.

The following construction projects have received grants:


Under review


Tennessee Theatre, $210,000, located at 604 S. Gay Street
The Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation has embarked on a proposed $6 million project to add additional restrooms and expanded space for rehearsals and educational events by expanding into the upper floors of Mechanics Bank and Trust Company building two doors south at 612 S. Gay Street. The extension will connect the buildings in the back. The City funding will be used for masonry repair, tuckpointing, and window replacement of the historic theater, which first opened as a grand movie palace in 1928.

Bijou Theatre, $32,752, located at 803 S. Gay Street
One of the city’s oldest buildings – the Lamar House, constructed in 1817 and home to the Bijou Theatre since 1908 – is receiving repair work on its Cumberland Avenue side. The City grant will cover repairs to the masonry, electrical work and canopies as part of a project estimated at a total of $50,387.

Shanklin Flats, $200,000, located at 101-103 E. Fourth Avenue
Property owner Robert Aaron Monday is pursuing a $1.5-million project to restore the 12-unit apartment building to its original configuration of six, two-bedroom apartments with front porches. The grant will also go toward replacing the doors and repairing the brickwork.

Lintz Lofts, $200,000, located at 428 E. Scott Avenue
The development team of Laurence Eaton and Logan Higgins will create 12 new rental units through a $1 million-plus renovation project of this commercial building built in 1927. The Historic Preservation funds will support replacement of doors, windows and transoms facing Scott Avenue, as well as new windows on the sides and rear of the building and renovation of the brickwork.


• Fourth and Gill Neighborhood Center, $25,625, located at 800 N. 4th Avenue 
The project will restore the porch of the neighborhood community center known as The Birdhouse to its original status as a wraparound-style porch. The Birdhouse hosts a variety of community, educational and cultural events. 

• Hull-Dobbs Building, $200,000, located at 835 N. Central Street
Owners of this one-time Ford dealership propose to restore the building to its original splendor in preparation to house the headquarters of local third-party logistics company Axle Logistics. There’s also the potential for retail on the ground floor. 

• Bijou Theatre, $84,500, located at 803 S. Gay Street
This project will stabilize exterior masonry on the 110-year-old theater, which is part of the 200-year-old Lamar House. 

• 1815 Highland Ave, $71,533, located at 1815 Highland Ave.
In late 2018, the City helped Knox Heritage move this circa-1900 Queen Anne home from its original address at 1804 Highland Avenue (purchased by Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center to use as a parking lot) across the street to 1815 Highland Avenue. Knox Heritage will restore and renovate the house into rental apartments that will serve as a source of income for the non-profit preservation organization. 

• The Taggart Building, $200,000, located at 3415 N. Broadway
Built in 1939, the Art Modern-style Taggart Building originally housed both residential and commercial tenants, including the Arlington Branch of the Knox County Public Library. Current owners plan to renovate the building into 11 market-rate condominiums that share a courtyard. Rather than a grant, funding for this project will be a repayable loan, meaning that as individual owners buy the condos, the developer will repay that portion of the loan back to the City, which will return those funds to the Historic Preservation budget. 

• H-1 Gap Fund, $10,000
This fund was created in response to feedback from residents concerned that home repairs were cost prohibitive to some homeowners in neighborhoods with historic overlay protection zoning. With support from the City, Knox Heritage will create a program to administer these funds to homeowners in H-1 districts whose income levels prevent them from making home repairs that meet overlay guidelines. 

• National Register nomination, $3,500
This grant funds Knox Heritage’s efforts to complete the application process to add the Standard Knitting Mill (1400 Washington Avenue) to the National Register of Historic Places. Being listed on this register opens up properties to opportunities like tax credits and federal grants. 


• The Dempster Building, $200,000, located at 611 - 617 North Central St.
This project will include restoration and development of two, long-vacant buildings into a mixed-use development to include residential units and commercial tenants. Built in 1895 as the W.C. McCoy Livery, it was one of the first buildings in what was known as the Central Market area. In the 1920s, it housed Dempster Construction Company and Dempster Motor Company, owned by George Dempster, who served as Knoxville Mayor 1952-1955 and invented the Dempster Dumpster.

• Baker Creek Bottoms (former Sevier Heights Baptist Church), $150,000, located at 3700 Lancaster Dr.
The church’s large sanctuary will be developed as an event and performing arts venue. The smaller, original sanctuary is being restored to house a restaurant utilizing funding from last round.

• Former Tex Ten Printing Supplies, $100,000, located at 1520 Washington Ave.
Originally a grocery store, the building will be restored and developed as a new home for three businesses in the Park City neighborhood’s historic commercial district.

• Architects Weeks Ambrose McDonald, Inc., $45,000, located at 30 Market Square
Funding will be used for structural repairs to both walls shared with neighboring buildings. 

• Mabry-Hazen House and Meek Cottage, $27,770.60, located at 1711 Dandridge Ave.
Funding will be used for additional renovation and restoration of windows, siding, and porch repair for the historic home. 

• Blount Mansion, $21,383, located at 200 W. Hill Ave. 
The Blount Mansion Association will use the funding to restore the windows of the home, which was constructed between 1792 and approximately 1820.


• Baker Creek Bottoms Chapel, $150,000, former Sevier Heights Baptist Church, at Lancaster Dr.

• Cal Johnson Building, $100,000, located at 301 State St. 

• Crafty Bastard Brewery, $47,010, located at 6 Emory Place

• Former Rayl School property, $150,000, site of now-closed Free Service Tire, at 300 Magnolia Ave.

• Keeton’s Jewelers Building, $40,031, located at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

• Downtown YMCA, $36,521, located at 605 Clinch Ave.

• Bijou Theatre, $33,903, located at 803 S. Gay St.

• Mabry-Hazen House, $16,393, located at 1711 Dandridge Ave.
Funding for guest house front porch, window restoration and caretaker cottage back porch at 1711 Dandridge Ave. 

 Knox Heritage, $9,900
The grant funds Knox Heritage for National Register of Historic Places nomination applications for Pryor Brown Garage and Emory Place Historic District extension

• Magnolia Avenue United Methodist Church Parsonage, $8,649, located at 2700 E. Magnolia Ave.

• Lawhorn Cottage on Prospect Place, $2,600
The grant funds application for National Register of Historic Places nomination


Bijou Theatre, located at 803 S. Gay St.
Grant repaired interior stairwell and new HVAC system at 803 S. Gay St. 

• Craighead-Jackson House, located at 1000 State St.

• First Christian Church, located at 211 W. Fifth Ave.

Historic Riverhouse, located at 614 W. Hill Ave.

Keener Building, located at 701 World’s Fair Park Drive

• Knox Heritage, for National Register administrative grant
The grant funds Knox Heritage for National Register of Historic Places administrative grant

Lloyd Branson House Phase II, located at 1423 Branson Ave.
Grant funds new windows and dormers above the front porch styled to match the home's original design.

Mabry-Hazen House, located at 1711 Dandridge Ave. 
Grant funds restoration

Tennessee Theatre, located at 604 S. Gay St. 
Grant funds new marquee outfitted with LED lights  


Alfred Buffat Homestead, located at 1717 Loves Creek Road
Grant funds foundation and structural repair

Kern's Bakery Building, located at 2110 Chapman Highway
Grant funds new façade at 2110 Chapman Highway

Lloyd Branson House Phase I, located at 1423 Branson Ave. 

McMillan Flats, located at 507 N. Central St.

Metropolitan Planning Commission
Grant to help inventory mid-century neighborhoods and buildings as prospective candidates for the National Register of Historic Places.

Park City Presbyterian Church, located at 2204 Linden Ave. 
Grant for new roof and gutters on the main building at 2204 Linden Ave. 


Applications Open for Historic Preservation Fund - 11/2/2021
• Fund Continues to Support Historic Preservation - 05/21/2021
Four Projects Receive Funding from Historic Preservation Grant - 05/05/2020
• City Accepting Proposals for Historic Preservation Funding - 09/30/2019
Seven Projects Receive Historic Preservation Funds (2018-19 Budget) - 03/14/2019
• City Names Recipients of Historic Preservation Funds (2017-18 Budget) - 02/16/2018
City Seeking Applicants for Historic Preservation Funds (2017-18 Budget) - 09/13/2017
City Names Recipients of Historic Preservation Funds (2016-17 Budget) - 05/24/2017
Historic Preservation Fund: Mandatory Meeting and Status Update - 01/06/2017
Deadlines Set for Historic Preservation Grant Process - 12/23/2016
City Awards Historic Preservation Funds (2015-16 Budget) to 9 Projects - 05/19/2016
City Seeking Applicants for $500,000 in Historic Preservation Funds (2014-15 Budget) - 11/09/2015
Mayor Rogero Proposes $206M Budget with Increased Funding for Infrastructure - 04/29/2015