Eclectic Ely Building initiates downtown home tour

Homeowner Kelley Reymond in the master bedroom of the Ely Building last night.

Hey, everybody! It’s not too late to tour 11 residences on the City People Downtown Home Tour. The tour kicked off with a VIP reception on Thursday, but the tour itself runs tonight until 9 and tomorrow (Saturday) from noon until 4. Cost is only $35.

You can pay and get your wristband at one of two check-in locations: Jackson Central in the Old City (111 E. Jackson Ave.) or the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (17 Market Square). You’ll get a map and directory with a description of each home on the tour.

The VIP reception was in the historic Ely Building, located at 406 W. Church Ave. It contains 6,000 square feet on three floors and is the home of our next-door neighbors, Kelley and Eddie Reymond.

According to Knox Heritage, the Ely Building was built in 1903 as a physician’s office with a residence or an infirmary on the second floor. Initially, it was occupied for many years by the offices of Dr. S.M. Miller. But it is known by the name of the law firm Ely & Ely, which had offices there from 1950 until the late 1970s. The building also was home to the fictional office of Teddy Ruzak, the “highly effective detective” in three Richard Yancey novels. And newly elected Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay had the offices of his Double Jay Creative in it prior to the Reymonds moving in.

The Reymonds purchased the building two years ago, moved into it last year and plan to be finished with the renovation by the middle of this summer, Kelley Reymond said. Even though the renovations are not totally finished, the Reymonds opened the Ely Building last night to folks who had purchased VIP tickets to the City People Downtown Home Tour.

Check out these pictures from the reception and then go grab your tickets for the rest of the tour!

City People hosts Sandi Swilley, left, and Jim Harness welcomed Melinda Grimac (and everyone else) to the City People reception at the Ely Building last night.

Here’s a shot of the living room looking into the kitchen.

The fireplace sitting area is located to the left of the view in the previous picture.

A view from above.

Mark Pace, music director of First Presbyterian Church, provided soothing tunes, a very nice touch.

My buddy B.J. Anderson, left, was helping out her mother, caterer Jeanie Anderson, by setting up the delicious spread on the kitchen island.

Beyond the island is a small dining area. That’s D.L. Bergmeier, manager of Downtown Wine & Spirits, facing the camera. He provided wine for the event.

Bergmeier said this is the biggest selling white wine in his store at the moment.

And this is the biggest selling red.

But, back to the home tour!

Kathy Wright, a volunteer with City People, welcomed folks into the master bedroom.

Love the exposed brick.

The master bedroom has a sweet little balcony off the side.

Soaking tub in the master bath.

One bedroom has been turned into a cozy office.

Another belongs to the Reymonds’ 15-year-old son.

The roof area is not finished yet, but it has a great view to the northwest.

And the southwest.

Back downstairs, folks were going through the food line.

I thought this pesto cheesecake looked divine!

As did these potato pancakes with smoked salmon and creme fraiche.

Bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken breasts. Holy cow!

Mini quiches.

Wow, the shrimp!

Homeowner Eddie Reymond, center, with Steve Cotham, left, and Rick Kennedy.

Elsa Messer and Josh Klinger. He’s with Raymond James, the sponsor of the City People Downtown Home Tour.

Dean Dickinson and Holly Klinger.

Alan Carmichael pauses outside the Ely Building.

It was a fabulous start to the home tour.

If you’d like to see more photos of the inside of the Ely Building — taken with a camera better than my iPhone! — visit the blog of my friend Alan Sims:

See you on the tour!

Filed under: Downtown, Events, Food, Historic preservation, Knoxville. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Eclectic Ely Building initiates downtown home tour

  1. DOROTHY STAIR, on May 5th, 2018 at 7:33 am said:

    Cynthia, Did you know that the Ely Building served as the headquarters of the Knoxville Women’s Center from around 1974-1984? That area around the library still contained some wonderful old townhouses which would be treasures if they had survived till the downtown resurrection beginning around 1995.

  2. Carol Bradley, on May 5th, 2018 at 2:57 pm said:

    Love this, Moxley! It’s so fun to see Knoxville’s urban digs.

  3. Bill Horton, on May 6th, 2018 at 2:13 am said:

    Thank you for sharing the photos of the Ely Building and for providing the link to the article. The building was being renovated while I was living at Cherokee Lofts and I had been curious how it now looks. It is a beautiful home and another great enhancement to a wonderful neighborhood.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on May 6th, 2018 at 11:42 am said:

    Dorothy: I’m so glad you mentioned that! Now that you have, I remember going to the Women’s Center when it was there and Merikay Waldvogel was running it. I just forgot that was its location. Thanks!

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on May 6th, 2018 at 11:43 am said:

    Carol: Thanks for reading. We miss you! Come back soon to visit.

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on May 6th, 2018 at 11:45 am said:

    Bill: So good to hear from you! Give us a shout if you’re ever back in K-town!

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