Old and new homes blend seamlessly in Fourth and Gill homes tour

Old and new homes blend seamlessly in Fourth and Gill homes tour

Photo by Charles Brooks, Special to the News Sentinel

The second floor on this 1905 Colonial Revival cottage is not original. It was added
in the 1920s.

Photo by Charles Brooks

The second floor on this 1905 Colonial Revival cottage is not original. It was added in the 1920s.

This new home at 803 Gratz reflects the style of its older neighbors. It is one of nine
homes on the tour Sunday.

Photo by Charles Brooks

This new home at 803 Gratz reflects the style of its older neighbors. It is one of nine homes on the tour Sunday.

This Victorian was built in 2007 and has three porches,
three bedrooms and two baths.

Photo by Charles Brooks

This Victorian was built in 2007 and has three porches, three bedrooms and two baths.

Fourth and Gill Tour of Homes

  • What: Tour of historic homes from Queen Anne to Craftsmen style and new homes built to neighborhood guidelines
  • When: 1-6 p.m. Sunday, April 19
  • Where: Fourth & Gill neighborhood off Broadway north of downtown Knoxville

What's new looks old in the annual historic Fourth and Gill home tour.

The self-guided 1-6 p.m. tour on Sunday, April 19, includes 10 structures. There are historic homes built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the 1927 Gothic Revival Central United Methodist Church. A Brownlow Lofts condominium in the former Brownlow Elementary School is also a stop.

Two of the tour stops are new buildings designed to fit within the historic neighborhood off Broadway. The 811 Gratz St. Victorian-style two-story belonging to John and Judith Neff and the nearby 803 Gratz St. home of Juan and Iryna Mino are new constructions.

Both residences, as well as a third home between them not on the tour, were built to follow historic overlay guidelines of the Fourth and Gill neighborhood. They are what's called "infill housing." Built to fit the look of their neighbors, they were built on once-vacant lots the city of Knoxville decided to sell in 2004.

The homes sit on part of the site of the former McCallie Elementary School. The rest of the block is currently a small park. Built in 1907, McCallie closed in 1977. Despite efforts by the neighborhood to find an owner or a renewed use for the property, the building sat in shambles until it burned in 1995.

Fourth and Gill, bordered on one side by Broadway and another by Interstate 40, flourished in the last 25 years of the 19th century. The area began a tree-lined streetcar suburb; its houses a mixture of Queen Anne, Victorian, Craftsmen and Colonial Revival styles. Like the homes they lived in, the neighborhood's residents were diverse. Merchants, laborers, mayors and Gov. Robert L. Taylor called Fourth and Gill home.

After World War II, the area declined as single-family houses were cut into apartments and families moved into suburbs farther from downtown. In the last 20 years, the area has been revived and many buildings restored.

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The buildings on tour

  • Central United Methodist Church, 201 Third Ave. – The tour’s start. The church’s 1,600-seat sanctuary has been used for concerts, operas and graduations. The church bought Knoxville’s Riviera Theater pipe organ in 1935.
  • 811 Deery St. – This 120-year-old, eightroom bungalow has a partly finished basement where a cistern once collected rainwater.
  • 911 Luttrell St. (carriage house only ) – This carriage house behind a Queen Anne has its original horse-hitching ring and is reputed to have once been the neighborhood fire hall.
  • 918 Luttrell St. – Built in 1925 and later converted into apartments, this is again a single-family home.
  • 1018 LuttrellSt.–A second story was added to this 1905 Colonial Revival cottage around 1920. It has 10-foot ceilings, heart pine floors and oak woodwork.
  • 1011 Luttrell St. – This Colonial Revival built about 1910 later was a church and then a 10-unit apartment building. It was restored to a single-family home earlier this decade.
  • 1305 Luttrell St. – The former Brownlow Elementary School is being converted into lofts.
  • 1014 Eleanor St. – The 1922 Craftsman built by a cabinetmaker has most of its original woodwork.
  • 811 Gratz St. – The 2007 home designed like a Victorian includes three bedrooms, three porches and two baths.
  • 803 Gratz St. – Owner Juan Mino designed this new home to complement older homes without sacrificing comfort and efficiency.

Amy McRary may be reached at 865-342-6437.

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