Apr 15 2008
10:19 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

Is it beautification or camouflage? The photo is completely unretouched, and was shot from Redflex Junction (Henley and Summit Hill), itself the product of one of the most ill-conceived urban "improvements" in downtown: the tunneled on/off-ramp to/from I-40.

Anonymous's picture

assuming we're stuck with the dam thing...

...it seems to me that we ought to paint it off-white. Assuming clear blue skies is pretty presumptuous around these parts.

Seriously, though, that's a poor choice of camo color.

michael kaplan's picture

...it seems to me that we

...it seems to me that we ought to paint it off-white.

i agree. probably should have been a matte smoky white.

bizgrrl's picture

Great pic. Besides the fact

Great pic. Besides the fact this monstrosity has been added to the skyline, I will never understand why the L&N wasn't successful for restaurant/retail. Of course, I wasn't in Knoxville when the restaurants and retail stores all finally moved out of the L&N. I think Knoxville just took too much time to develop the WFP.

RayCapps's picture

Hold That Train Station!

For the period of time that Ye Olde Steakhouse was forced from it's traditional location by an arson fire, the L&N was hopping. You couldn't hardly get into the joint. While I personally also still have very fond memories of the Jockey Club that was in there for a while, I guess it wasn't a business model that could make it. Anyway, the point is that the L&N has been a successful host location and could easily be so again. Just like every other building downtown, it just needs to land the right business.

michael kaplan's picture

was street level ever down

was street level ever down below at the entry level to the station? i remember there were serious grade changes made when the infamous ramps were built. it would be nice if the station were integrated into the downtown grid ..

edens's picture

>was street level ever down

>was street level ever down below?

Not sure about Western/Asylum, but Broadway used to run down the hill (to the left, I believe, of the station in the photo) the street in front of the old CC/Holiday Inn actually follows the old alignment (as does the tiny remnant down by Maplehurst). Prior to the construction of the Henley Street Bridge, Henley was a separate parallel street with a short block in between. There were other streets/houses across Asylum from the depot, too - the excavations for the tunnel exposed an assortment of old streets/sidewalks in the profile.

Check the Sanborns...

Anonymous's picture


The street level did used to be some amount lower -- 15 steps, whatever that amounts to. The concrete steps from the edge of Western Avenue take you down to the original sidewalk level. The building was always below street level at the intersection (the old steps are still there as well), but not as much.

bizgrrl's picture

I visited when there was a

I visited when there was a Ruby Tuesday at the L&N, when there was the L&N Seafood, and again when there was a fancier restaurant there (can't remember the name). The few times I visited the Ruby Tuesday it was "hopping". I enjoyed every visit to all of the restaurants. Parking was always an issue, but I did not let it deter me.

redmondkr's picture

Anybody remember the

Anybody remember the restaurant in the old L&N Hotel building across Western Avenue from the depot? I remember eating there sometime in the late sixties or early seventies. The food wasn't memorable but the atmosphere was one of those if-the-walls-could-talk sort of things.

I was reminded of it the other day when I watched a DVD of "All the Way Home" that I had captured from TCM. There are several scenes shot in that area as well as in Ft. Sanders. There is even a steam locomotive going under the Western Avenue viaduct.

Visit us at

The Home

Rachel's picture

Yup. I used to go drinking

Yup. I used to go drinking over there.

Pam Strickland's picture

Yes, drinking there I did.

Yes, drinking there I did.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

JaHu's picture

Anybody remember the

Anybody remember the restaurant in the old L&N Hotel building across Western Avenue from the depot? I remember eating there sometime in the late sixties or early seventies.

If I remember correctly, the restaurant had an appetizer called spiders on the menu.

There was many a night I spent listening to the live entertainment provided in the bar above the restaurant. A few years early, I think the hotel was a brothel, but that was a little before my time!

Up Goose Creek's picture


Yes, I fondly remember the spiders. After the restaurant was shut down for the worlds fair the proprieters opened Zeke & Dan's in Fourth & Gill.

Less is the new More - Karrie Jacobs

Pam Strickland's picture

Z & D is now Sassy

Z & D is now Sassy Ann's.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

JaHu's picture

Zeke & Dan's was more

Zeke & Dan's was more upscale than was the L&N. Unlike the rough sawn woodwork at the L&N, the woodwork at Z&D's had a nice finished appearance. It was nicely done! Didn't Zeke and Dan do a lot of the work themselves? Myself, I was always more of a rustic type person and enjoyed the dark dungeon rusticness of the L&N, but more so the Bar, than the Restaurant. Back in my wilder days, I was a member of a hang gliding club at UT and after our meetings we would converge at the L&N bar and share stories and discuss different items concerning the club. We would get more accomplished during these get togethers, than in any of our meetings on campus.

They kept a facsimile of the bar and restaurant open during the '82 Worlds Fair. During that time I visited it once and was really saddened by how they changed it to accommodate the huge influx of traffic. But that was progress!

Stan G's picture

Who would have thought we

Who would have thought we had so many party girls on Knoxviews?

For those who are post World’s Fair, Zeke and Dan’s is now Sassy Ann’s on North Fourth Ave. Not to disagree, but as I recall Zeke and Dan’s predated the L & N Hotel. Not sure that Z was involved in the L & N; I believe it was D’s project. He located an old barn that he tore down and used for the interior. How about the tables, anyone? They were, as I recall, made from solid slabs of finished redwood. In addition to the spiders, there were, as I recall, birdnests, and more than likely spring rolls; great late night snacking food when drinking beer. The restaurant was operated by a Korean couple who added a special touch to their non-traditional oriental food.

As for grade change, the first obviously occurred when they constructed the viaduct. Before that I would assume Asylum sloped down to the level of the tracks, which would have been the level of the Station, the Foundry, the hotel, and the building next to the hotel that burned shortly before or after the World’s Fair.

The intersection would have changed again when the City “redeveloped” the northern end of Downtown from Wall to Jackson to construct TVA Towers and Summit Hill Drive. As Edens mentions, South Broadway sloped down past the east side of the L & N Station and ran behind Miller’s Parking Garage where it was bisected by the KUB substation and then continued on to and across Cumberland.

Lastly, it changed when they widened Henley for the World’s Fair and in anticipation of the post fair “improvements” planned to connect downtown directly to the Interstates. We lost the L & N Hotel, which served as the Folk Life Center during the World’s Fair, when they constructed the tunnels.

Ragsdale2010's picture

It's got a strobe on top now, what next, going to pimp it out?

Looking at the stupid water tower from Bearden Hill last night following a gourmet meal at Wasabi's, you can see the blinking strobe from the top of the watertower. Don't really understand why they have to put a strobe on top of the water tank, perhaps KUB could enlighten us why the need?

Lisa Starbuck's picture


The strobe is for aircraft warning. Don't be surprised to see antennas soon also.

scottfrith's picture

It is my sincere hope that

It is my sincere hope that we never build another water tower that requires an aircraft warning device.

Phil Sollins's picture

L&N Tavern - Zeke & Dan

Wow, does this bring back memories. Zeke and Dan were about my best friends from 1968 to 1972. I put in a couple of weeks working for Dan on building the tavern. Played music in a band with Zeke and Bob Jordan. I remember what a treat it was to have the L&N up and running compared to the Yardarm down the street. Not that there was anything wrong with the Yardarm, unless you minded when someone would throw up under the ping pong table. Zeke and Dan are still around? I remember Dan's last name (Reinhart?) but not Zeke's and I'm curious if he's still playing old-time music. My e-mail is phil.sollins@orst.edu if anyone wants to reply privately.

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