115 E. Jackson Avenue Endangered by Demolition
Knox Heritage Urges Owner to Collaborate on Solution
On January 12, 2023, a permit application was filed with the City of Knoxville Plans Review & Inspections Division for the demolition of 115 E. Jackson Avenue, a contributing historic structure in the National Register of Historic Places’ Southern Terminal and Warehouse Historic District. Due to the building’s significant history, the permit is subject to a sixty (60) day demolition delay which will expire on March 13, 2023. The building owner, XXI Project, LLC, plans to build a mixed-use structure that will feature residential apartments, a boutique hotel, and a restaurant. XXI Project, LLC purchased the structure in June 2021.
115 E. Jackson Avenue was constructed ca. 1890 as the Knoxville branch of the Armour Packing Company, a nationally significant meat packing business from 1867 until 1983. 115 E. Jackson Avenue represents an area of Knoxville which, during the late 19th and early 20th century, became the wholesaling center for the city and the surrounding East Tennessee region. This building, along with all the structures comprising the historic district, illustrate the areas prominence in wholesale commerce from the late 1870s until the 1930s and the impact of the rail transportation on that commerce.
Knox Heritage is concerned for the domino effect this type of project will have on the Old City’s historic fabric as the area grows in popularity alongside the development of the mixed-use stadium. While the building to be demolished is modest in size and design, the one-story brick warehouse is characteristic of the historic district’s unique qualities.
Knox Heritage has visited the site and has had numerous conversations with a representative of the building’s owner. We understand the complexity of preserving the entire structure due to its existing conditions. However, we strongly encourage the preservation of the historic façade as the building’s total demolition would set a precedent for removing smaller historic buildings and replacing with large new construction.
Time is of the essence and Knox Heritage is requesting that the property owner discuss strategies for saving the façade from demolition. Knox Heritage is committed to assisting with this effort as new building and design plans are developed.