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Take an Architectural Tour of Knoxville, Tennessee

By: Karin Beurlein

This mountain town features an eclectic mix of home styles, from Victorian to modernist.

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Photo: Mike ONeill

Historic Westwood

Historic Westwood is one of the architectural jewels of Knoxville, located on the town’s main artery, Kingston Pike. Built in 1890 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the home is an example of the wildly ornate Richardsonian Romanesque style (even the name is over the top). The wife of Westwood’s builder became Tennessee’s first professional woman painter; you can still see her frescoes on the interior walls. Like many of the homes in this gallery, Westwood was restored to its original glory by local preservation nonprofit Knox Heritage, which now has its offices inside.

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Photo: Photo courtesy of Knox Heritage

Spanish Style

You’ll find good examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture if you peek into Knoxville’s flagship neighborhoods built from the 1920s onward, like Fairmont-Emoriland or North Hills. These homes are noted for their stucco walls, tile roofs, and pretty archways often leading to open courtyards.

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Photo: Photo courtesy of Knox Heritage

The Barber Influence

This Victorian house in the Parkridge neighborhood was designed by famous residential architect George Barber, who lived in Knoxville for most of his career (just down the street from this house, in fact) . Barber made a name for himself by publishing his Victorian house plans in mail-order catalogues, which at the time was still a new approach. The gorgeous exterior detailing was restored by Knox Heritage in 2007—funded in part by an HGTV Restore America grant.

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Photo: Crystal Martin

Thoroughly Modern

Knoxville has its share of Midcentury Modern style, too—but it’s less common, and it can be tough to find the home you want on the market. That’s why Scott and Anne Wilkerson decided to build their own. Their house, inspired by the designs of Midcentury developer Joseph Eichler , was designed by architect Robert Nebolon who won the HGTV Fresh Face of Design competition two years later. Some of the design-forward, eco-friendly features include fiber cement siding, cork floors, and high-efficiency windows that let in loads of natural light—plus specialized foam insulation for the roof and walls that made the California-style design efficient in the heat and humidity of the South. To learn more about Midcentury Modern style in Knoxville, visit the Wilkersons’ blog, Knoxville Modern.

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