Story Behind Knoxville’s Most Infamous Homes On The Market


Every home has a story to tell, but there are some Knoxville properties that have been on the market in recent years have either had some truly unique owners or have been used in quite unusual ways.

They are still standing despite everything and have even been revived thanks to the work of recent residents, allowing more history to be made inside their walls. From time to time, they are put up for sale.

Here are the most notorious stories behind Knoxville properties that have been on the market:

Oak house

If you’ve looked out the window as you walked down Kingston Pike just outside the University of Tennessee campus, there’s a good chance that historic oakwood home on a hill at the northeast corner of Concord Street caught your eye.

For those who have dreamed of spending time in the massive house, the opportunity now exists.

The 3,336 square feet of space on the first floor is available for rent through Furrow Strickland Real Estate Services for $ 5,490.50 per month. The two-story building has eight offices, two toilets, a kitchen and a conference room.

The interior of the house is just as interesting as its idyllic exterior. Stories dating back to the late 1800s are hidden within the walls of the Oakwood House. From a farm with Jersey cattle to the birthplace of former Knoxville mayor and Knox News columnist Victor Ashe, the property has stood the test of time.

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According to information and old newspaper articles provided by Sharon Mills, who works for building owner Sam Furrow, the house was built around 1870 by Knoxville dry goods distributor Charles McClung for his son. Matthew. However, Matthew’s sister Lucy lived there for several years with her husband, Jacob Thomas, a Confederate Civil War veteran who was wounded in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga.

In the 1920s, the house was converted into the Howard-Henderson Hospital. Former UT football coach General Robert Neyland has also rented a place there for a period. Ashe was born there on January 1, 1945. In the 1950s it became the Kingston Pike Motel before the construction of Interstate 40. There was also a restaurant. In 1999, Furrow’s company bought the house and started the restoration work.

Although the house has changed over time, its classic style makes it a unique place for a workplace.

Villa Collina

Live like royalty in the largest residence in Tennessee, Villa Collina. The mega mansion at 5628 Lyons View Pike is listed by Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty for $ 7,900,000 – a good deal compared to the property’s previous price of $ 15 million.

The 8.2-acre waterfront estate is so large that it varies in size: the square footage has been reported to be between 36,000 and over 40,000 square feet, and the owners have listed the number of rooms as 50. to 86.

According to its most recent listing, Villa Collina has 36,720 square feet and 50 rooms, including eight bedrooms, 11 full baths, and five half baths.

Villa Collina is home to a 2,600 square foot wine cellar “rivaling the best of ancient Tuscany villas”; a home spa with heated indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and exercise room as well as a commercial elevator connecting each floor. It features a secluded guest suite, staff quarters, a six-car garage and limo, remote security system and more.

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The listing also boasts a three story library with spiral staircase, billiard room, intercom system, home theater, artist studio, outdoor pool, golf cart garage, catering kitchen , a formal dining room for 18 and up.

Villa Collina was built in stages over two decades by Mike and Deane Conley, former owners of equipment company Regal Corp. Eric Barton, owner of Maryville-based Vanquish Worldwide, bought the house at auction for $ 6.375 million in October 2016.

Barton estimated the investment over $ 3 million in upgrades before selling the domain to Resolution Systems in October. Property records indicate the sale price was $ 10.5 million.

Now Villa Collina is back on the market, awaiting its next owner.

Sequoyah Hills History

The site of a Kill the Hills of Sequoyah looks very different now.

Socialist Rose Busch and her husband Harry Busch, a wealthy businessman and jeweler, lived at 1026 Kenesaw Ave. until Rose was tragically murdered there in 1968. Since then, the mid-century modern house has been bought and sold by several residents. In 2018, owners Bob and Margaret Petrone chose to demolish the stage of the famous unsolved murder.

The Petrones planned to demolish the house and build a new residence to better meet their needs and those of their extended family before learning about the property’s spooky past.

Today the lot is home to a sprawling property with stonework, classic windows, steep roof lines, and classic-style arches.

The property is one of several in Sequoyah Hills that has an interesting past. In 2019, the former home of “Roots” author Alex Haley at 840 Cherokee Blvd. sold for just under $ 2 million.

Fowler-Christenberry House

A century home on Kingston Pike, the brother of a historic house now demolished less than a kilometer and a half away, sold in September 2019.

The Colonial Revival-influenced three-story home at 4024 Kingston Pike comprises 5,552 square feet, 16 rooms – six bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms – on 2 acres of land along Kingston Pike.

According to Knox Heritage, the house was designed by famous architect George Barber and built in 1910 for Frank and Verna Combs Fowler, founders of Fowler Brothers Furniture Co. Verna’s mother gave the land to the couple as a wedding gift. A year later, she gave them joint land. Frank and Verna’s daughter, Martha, is the grandmother of Flossie McNabb, owner of Union Avenue Books.

The Dexter Christenberry family bought it in 1961. Barbara Christine Christenberry, widow of Dexter Christenberry., Died in August 2016. In August 2017, the four heirs of Dexter Christenberry sold the house to Dewey Hilliard, who restored the residence and released it in July 2019. It sold in September 2019 for $ 900,000.

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Knoxville Hotel

The Knoxville Hotel, formerly known as Hyatt House and Hyatt Regency, is a throwback to another era. Its slanted side fits perfectly into the style of the late 1950s to early 1970s, when the unusual was the usual. Its history is just as distant.

Long before the Knoxville Convention Center opened at World’s Fair Park, the property was designed to serve as a convention center and hotel in conjunction with the nearby Civic Coliseum and Auditorium. It opened for six days in late May and early June 1972 and became a topic of conversation for locals and visitors alike.

Traveling sports teams, politicians and even Elvis Presley have stayed at this iconic hotel. It was an eye-catching attraction before the solar sphere appeared in the city skyline.

But the unique style of the hotel did not prevent its doors from closing. the hotel closed in March 2020 as cases of coronavirus have spread, and it has been purchased by out-of-state buyer for $ 8.3 million at an auction the same month. It was purchased again in October 2020 by Melrose Knoxville LLC for $ 16.8 million.

Melrose Knoxville LLC submitted documents to the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission in March 2021, proposing to convert the hotel into a 383-room senior care facility. However, a few days later the owner has withdrawn the proposal.

For now, Knoxville’s most unique building is unused.

Marble City United Methodist Church

A former place of worship is now full of architectural plans – and coffee.

Smee + Busby Architects and The golden roast now occupy 2554 Sutherland Ave., which was once a church. The building dates back almost 100 years, when it opened as the Marble City Evangelical United Brethren Church. The congregation remained in space until the denomination-wide merger with the larger Methodist Church in 1968. After that it became known as the United Methodist Church of Marble City.

The former Sutherland Avenue shrine, now home to Smee + Busby Architects, stands against the blue sky on July 1.

Marble City United Methodist Church closed in the mid-2000s, but it wasn’t empty for long. The Shomair Yisrael Messianic Synagogue moved its congregation there soon after. This led, in a roundabout way, to the move in of the architectural firm and the café.

The congregation, led by Rabbi Michael Weiner, spoke to the company about renovating their building, but realized it was not doable because it did not meet their growing needs. It was then that Smee + Busby Architects purchased the building.

A former United Methodist church, pictured on April 28, 2021, has been transformed in recent years into an architect's office and Golden Roast cafe.

Architects opened up the old sanctuary, covered a mural, updated the HVAC and other mechanical systems, and rebuilt a disabled entrance at the back. The Golden Roast cafe has moved from the University of Tennessee campus to the lower level of the building.

The business still follows some of the traditions of the historic church, but with a twist. Employees ring the old bell in the tower after getting a new project.

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