Our office is located in the vibrant Old City district on the north end of Downtown Knoxville. Both our building and the Old City are rich with history that informs and enlivens our creative process.
Built sometime between 1900 and 1915 as a warehouse for a prestigious local furniture company, the building features thick post-and-beam construction with old-growth wood harvested from the land that would eventually become the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Through much of this buildings life, the Old City was a raucous place; home to saloons and brothels – even visited by outlaws like Kid Curry and Al Capone. By the 1990’s the area had been reborn as a mixed-use district sporting both antique shops and diverse nightlife; our building became home to the infamous nightclubs The Underground and The Boiler Room.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, TN-212
Following the trend towards urban living, the building was converted into the Firestreet Lofts in 2005 with over 30 residential condos and a large inviting commercial space that Red Chair Architects would eventually call home. This buildings’ history is a timely reminder for all of us that great architecture not only serves the immediate needs of the initial users – but should be solid enough to last for generations and flexible enough to adapt to the needs of those future generations.