Knoxville, Tennessee

Swanky lives in Knoxville. He has his favorite places and there are quite a few nice buildings and signs to see. He has a lot more to add in time to come. This is a start.

Today it's Belleza Salon on Bearden Hill. It used to be Dr. John P. Gass' dentist's offices. It was designed in 1955 by architect Bill Sloan. Thankfully, Belleza owners Marwan and Regina renovated this old masterpiece and made it thrive again. Dr. Gass' residence at 505 West Hills Dr. was also designed by Sloan, but the exterior is not particularly unique in that 50s ranch style neighborhood.

The Freezo is still on Central Avenue and is still open for business. They have recently repainted the sign, but I don't think the neon is fixed. I rather preferred the untouched sign, but I am weird that way.

Blue Circle was a chain in the old days. In my home town it was a drive-in. Here in downtown Knoxville near Matket Square, it was a diner.

This is the 5th Avenue Motel. It was built in 1913, but I think the signs are later. They have been an icon in Knoxville for a long time. The hotel is in an unfortunate location. One block from two homeless shelters. It has been a bad place for a long time. A hive of bad people. The city just condemned the property and it's future is uncertain. Most likely, the property will be bought by the shelter and demolished. We are hoping there is some way to buy some of the signs.

This sign used to be for Archie's. It was one of two matching Archie's signs that had a very impressive neon flash going at one time and an identical one across from it. It is hard to find, just off Old Broadway.

The Southern Grill is now a Deli on Broadway. It doesn't seem that long ago when we went in there and were served by old ladies in beehives. It still has some of the interior intact, like the tin ceiling and bar with stools. The neon has been dead a long time.

Also on 5th Avenue, this is still MAC Auto Loans, but the sign has not been maintained.

This bowling alley is on Broadway, just down from the Southern Grill. The neon is not awesome, but it works!

This is the Pizza Palace drive-in on Magnolia Ave. There are a few 50's places on this end of the street. The Tic-Toc Drive-in was destroyed a couple of years ago. There are a few hotels here, but most of the neon isn't up to par. The right side of the top of this sign has a fast flashing action of the colored bulbs. This is an original, still in business. A pizza drive-in! Very unique and they serve a lot of good stuff, including beer!

This is a motel on Clinton Hwy. The neon is great. I would loved to have seen it in it's glory. That arrow is awesome, and the TV sign still barely works. Those lines shout 50's!
Oh wait, I can see it in its prime on my own site: HERE!