Twenty Homes Participate in First Neighborhood Porch Tour

By David Booker
This article originally appeared in the Old North News in 2000.

Sunday, September 30th, was an almost perfect fall day. The temperature was in the seventies and the sky was dotted by only small white clouds. From 2–4 p.m. that day, Old North Knoxville hosted its first Porch Tour.

Lynne & Dave Palmer chat with guests on their porch.

Called “Sunday on the Porch: A Celebration of the Porches of Old North Knoxville,” this event invited residents from inside and outside the historic neighborhood to stroll down the sidewalks and appreciate an element of homes that doesn’t exist much on newer styles.

Twenty homeowners in the neighborhood swept off their porches, set up their porch furniture, and put out snacks and refreshments for anybody who wanted to say hello. The tour was free and a flyer describing the homes and the neighborhood, including a map, was provided to anybody stopping by. The average number of people to visit each porch was between 10 and 15.

Beth Booker welcomes visitors to her porch.

Porches ranged from Queen Anne Victorian to Bungalow to American Four Square, representing almost every style in Old North Knoxville, a neighborhood with homes built mainly between the 1880s and the 1940s. There were porches on Grainger and Glenwood Avenues, East Oklahoma and East Scott Avenues, and other streets and avenues that make up Old North Knoxville. There were porches attached to homes that had been restored and porches attached to homes being restored.

Those whose porches were on tour said they enjoyed the tour and looked forward to the event continuing next year. If nothing else, Beth Booker said, “it gave me a good excuse to sit out on my porch, which I haven’t done enough of.”

Greg & Rena Webb explain future changes to their porch.

See a preview article on the tour from the Knoxville News Sentinel.