Street festivals and block parties are a great way to check out some of Knoxville’s quirky and historic neighborhoods. This month the spotlight will shine on Happy Holler, an historic example of a trolley suburb, from noon to 5pm with the Happy Hollerpalooza Street Fair Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015.
North Central Street will be blocked off from Baxter Avenue to Scott Street to provide the people of Knoxville a chance to party in Happy Holler and see all that the area has to offer. This is a family friendly event offers free music, free parking and free admission. Bring everyone you know to enjoy food, handmade crafts, wares, artwork, jewelry and simply wonderful stuff from local vendors. Come dance in the streets and while you’re in the area check out the stores of Happy Holler, because there is certainly something for everyone.
As you browse the Holler, here are some historical notes on the original businesses that called the district home.
1200 N. Central St. (1924) — This single-story, stuccoed brick building first housed a restaurant. The modern copper awning above the transoms was installed in 2008. A recessed rectangular panel that is trimmed in corralled brick spans the storefront, providing a signboard location.
1202 N. Central St. (1926) — This single-story running bond brick commercial building first housed A.J. Campbell’s Grocery Store. The buff colored brick is original, representing a typical design feature of the era. The metal awning covering the width of the building was installed in 2008.
1204 N. Central St. (1925) — Built in the late 1920s, the building’s first occupant was White Stores Grocery. The metal awning was added in 2008.
1206 N. Central St. (1930) — This commercial building features very modest Art Deco brickwork, typical of its 1930 era construction. North Central Radio originally occupied the building. A 2008 copper awning covers the width of the store windows.
1208 N. Central St. (1920) — This brick, commercial building is slightly larger (in terms of height, width and depth) than its adjoining counterparts to the south. It is also slightly earlier, having been constructed in 1920. White Stores moved up the street to this location in 1943 as its business expanded. The hand-painted White Stores sign, uncovered and preserved during renovation, attests to the buildings early use. A contemporary metal awning was added in 2008 during its renovation.
1201 N. Central St. (1932) — This commercial Vernacular structure is one of the second generation buildings in Happy Holler. Its corner entrance is set back a car length from the street, a reflection of the need for parking as automobiles came into common use. The two-story building is largely composed of brick, although the second story is cinder block, suggesting this space was an addition built after World War II. This building is currently sided in vinyl which continues along the side of the original building. Because of this change it is the district’s one non-contributing building to its historic designation.
1205 N. Central St. (1916) — This two-story brick building became home to Happy Holler’s movie theater, which ceased operation in 1955. The second story facade is original. The ground floor facade was altered from the original theater configuration sometime during the late 1950s (after the theatre closed its doors).
1207 & 1209 N. Central St. (1909) — These two almost mirror image storefronts were construction in 1909. In 1920 Southern Household Supply Company took over the 1209 N. Central space, and when the company expanded around 1930, occupying both addresses, matching facades with framed transoms were created.
1211 N. Central St. (1917) — This building is very similar to the ones next door.
103 & 105 E. Anderson Aves. (1930) — These two slot-commercial buildings were both built in 1930, and are contiguous with 1200 N. Central St. The entrance doors were replaced in 2008 during restoration work as were metal awnings also added.
109 W. Anderson Ave. (1932) — This is a utilitarian brick commercial building. The top of the building features original red tile coping.
115 W. Anderson Ave. (1945) — This two-story building was constructed to house Central Furniture and Appliances. As a second generation building, its modest commercial style architecture features two structural advancements of the era. Steel-framed windows were used, a material of choice for its proven capacity to minimize fire hazards. Also typical is this building’s construction from concrete block with the use of textured rug face brick veneer only on the facade.