Old North Knoxville- One of Knoxville’s better urban districts

For this evaluation I included all of North Old Knoxville but extended the boundaries to Broadway and Central. This evaluation also includes the Old Holler Historic District along Central Avenue.

The housing boom reached what is now Old North Knoxville in the late 1880s. The area quickly became a prominent suburb for Knoxville’s upper middle and professional classes until the 1950s. During the 50s many of the neighborhood’s larger homes were converted into low rent apartments, leading to a decline in the area. Fortunately this lasted for only a couple decades and by the 70s/80s there was a strong preservation movement in place to renovate and stabilize the historic homes. In 1992, over 400 houses were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

On the positive side, Old North Knoxville is a generally a safe area, with good park amenities, decent bike infrastructure and public transit. It also is one of the more sought after urban districts in Knoxville due to its central location, historic housing stock, a decent walkable retail and cultural amenities. While this is one of the City’s better urban neighborhoods I just barely consider it to be a quality urban area. The main reason for this is the neighborhood’s low density, lack of pedestrian activity, hit or miss ADA infrastructure, often auto centric commercial district massing, limited walkable schools, few rental properties, and many missing retail amenities. The revitalization of Centre Avenue and Broadway as dense, mixed-use corridors would go a long ways to making this a better urban district.

Click here to view my Old North Knoxville Album on my Flickr Page


* Decent ADA infrastructure and sidewalks. Some areas missing sidewalks and plenty of ADA curbs missing.
* Great access to Dwtn Knoxville which is only 1-2 miles away and a 5 minute drive.
* Decent bike infrastructure with several bike lanes running through the district.
* Solid diversity across the board. Only concern is that poverty is pretty widespread here.
* Lots of attractive historic homes here.
* Urban massing along Central is decent. High quality for the 2 blocks of the Old Holler Historic District. Broadway is more hit or miss.
* Generally a pretty safe neighborhood.
* Pretty good buzz. Old North Knoxville is considered urban for Knoxville and sought out by those desiring an urban life.
* Good tree canopy but below average of southern neighborhoods.
* Good diversity of for sale hsg prices.. Some small 1-beds selling in the mid to high 100Ks, 2-bed 175K-400K, 3 & 4 beds btwn 225K-600K.
* Decent cultural amenities includes several restaurants, bars, and cafes, a couple art galleries, a couple night clubs, several breweries, a historic movie house, a community theater, and convenient access to the cultural amenities of Dwtn.
* Decent retail amenities including 3 supermarkets, several drug stores, several antique and consignment stores, a record store, a couple gift stores, several e dessert stores, a several churches, and a post office.


* Pretty poor density for an urban district.
* Pedestrian activity not great, but better than other inner city Knoxville neighborhoods.
* Decent # of schools but mixed ratings.
* Smaller rentals are very hard to come by. 1-beds lease in the low 1Ks, 2-beds in the mid 1Ks. and 3 beds (which seem most common) around 2K.
* Parks are limited to a couple small-medium sized parks and the First Creek Greenway along the eastern edge of the neighborhood.
* Neighborhood needs more retail amenities especially banks more boutiques and antique stores, etc.