Cheers! Hundreds poised for Downtown Home Tour

Kim Henry, left, and Jenny Bushkell at the VIP reception for the Downtown Home Tour last night. Kim’s home in Fire Street Lofts is on tomorrow’s tour.

If you are in downtown Knoxville tomorrow, expect to see about 450 folks earnestly pounding the sidewalks with thin grey booklets in their hands. Don’t get in their way! They have a lot of ground to cover.

It’s the Downtown Home Tour sponsored by the East Tennessee Historical Society. The 350 paying guests and 100 volunteers, who also are invited to take the tour, have eight homes to visit between 10 a.m and 5 p.m. Plus an additional two residences for those who shelled out $100 for the expanded VIP experience.

Organizers honored the sponsors, home hosts, and VIP ticket purchasers last night with a fun little cocktail reception in the historic Arcade Building on Gay Street. That’s where these photos were made.

The Downtown Home Tour actually originated with another organization called City People, which was formed in 1983 to celebrate the joys of living, working and playing in downtown Knoxville. In 1990, City People launched the popular annual tour of downtown residences to highlight the diversity of living options.

When City People disbanded two years ago, the East Tennessee Historical Society took over the tours. If you have not gotten tickets and want to go on the tour, you still can. Just show up at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, tomorrow between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and you can buy a ticket for $35. The tour is walkable, but a free shuttle also will be running.

See you on the tour!

Warren Dockter, left, president and CEO of the East Tennessee Historical Society, chats with Nikki and Eric Elliott at the reception.

From left, Victor Ashe, former Knoxville mayor and U.S. ambassador to Poland, Pandy Anderson, Sandi Burdick, and Tom Boyd.

Gay and Bill Lyons. Gay is chief development officer for the East Tennessee Historical Society and was in charge of the home tour and the reception.

Cheryl Light, left, and Adele Sensing of Home Federal Bank, the presenting sponsor of the home tour.

Melinda Grimac with Jim Harness, left, and Rick Kennedy. Melinda is with Southeby’s International Realty, the sponsor of the reception. She also owns the Arcade Building, where the event was held. Jim and Rick have one of the VIP homes on the tour, located in The Holston.

From left, Sheryl Linck, Garry Conklin, and Natalie Dowling.

Margaret and Cliff Rodgers.

Michael and Judith Foltz.

They call themselves “The Burwell Babes!” From left, Kim Hays, Julie Mitchell, and Carole Sue Thomas. They all live in the Burwell Building, which also houses the Tennessee Theatre. Kim’s condo is the other VIP home on the tour.

From left, Bobby Brown, Todd Richesin, Chris Vermuellen, and Chris McKenry.

Jacque Hawks and Alan Carmichael.

Nice spread.

These folks had a good idea — they grabbed the conference table! From left Susan and Kent Farris, Julia and Gary Bentley.

Moody Altamimi and Ryan Connor. His place in Fire Street Lofts is on the tour.

From left, Monica Gawet, Gus Zacharias, and Lisa Skinner.

Kelley Weatherly-Sinclair, community engagement manager for the East Tennessee Historical Society, did a great job checking folks in.

Jim and Elizabeth Williams.

Grace and Dan Manore, whose Kendrick Place home is on the tour.

Jackson Gainer and Becky Mink. His Fire Street Lofts place is on the tour.

Jennifer Higgins, left, whose Marble Alley apartment is on the tour, and Marcy Sanford of VIP Knoxville magazine.

Warren Dockter thanked the sponsors, home hosts, and staff members.


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9 Responses to Cheers! Hundreds poised for Downtown Home Tour

  1. Kathy Brennan, on June 7th, 2024 at 10:12 am said:

    I’m touring tomorrow yay! Looking forward to it.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on June 7th, 2024 at 10:16 am said:

    Hey, Kathy: Me, too! I’ve never been inside James Park House or the Medical Arts Building, both of which are on the tour this year. Do you have any you are particularly looking forward to?

  3. Jennifer L Holder, on June 7th, 2024 at 10:24 am said:

    Cynthia, you will love seeing those! I was lucky to get a tour from Karen Claussen years ago when we were running partners. Very special place.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on June 7th, 2024 at 10:41 am said:

    Jennifer: So glad Pete Claussen is allowing the James Park House to be included! I think weather will be nice tomorrow, so should be a fun, fun day!

  5. Rusha K Sams, on June 7th, 2024 at 10:59 am said:

    Thanks for sharing! The tour sounds spectacular!

  6. Gay Lyons, on June 7th, 2024 at 3:35 pm said:

    Doc Claussen will be leading tour groups through the James Park House all day tomorrow. Thanks for the great coverage of the VIP party and tomorrow’s tour. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

  7. Cynthia Moxley, on June 7th, 2024 at 3:52 pm said:

    Rusha: I bet it will be great!

    Gay: Looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labor when it all comes together tomorrow! Good job!

  8. Kim Hays, on June 7th, 2024 at 10:21 pm said:

    Thanks Cynthia. I’ve made the Blue Streak…now I feel like a true Knoxvillian. Looking forward to tomorrow!!!

  9. Cynthia Moxley, on June 7th, 2024 at 11:13 pm said:

    Kim: Haha! Welcome aboard!

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