Historic Zoning Commission

James White Fort Individual H Landmark: Level II


Staff Recommendation

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 10-I-22-HZ, subject to the following conditions: 1) reduction of pavilion's visual impact on overall property via revised placement, revised height and scale, or a combination of the two, with approval by staff; 2) material sample of "shake shingle" roofing and board-and-batten siding to be provided to staff for approval.

Applicant Request

Accessory structure

Revision to October 2022 submission. New secondary structure, combining a pavilion and a new bathroom facility. Pavilion measures 42' wide by 75'-6" long, which incorporates a 10'-4" bathroom and storage area at the rear (north side) of the pavilion, enclosed under the primary roof. The pavilion features an 8/12 pitch, front gable roof clad in "shake shingle," supported by 12 by 12 square posts with a timber frame truss open gable on the front (south) elevation. The rear massing is clad in board-and-batten siding. The pavilion's façade will be aligned with that of the primary cabin, set 10' to the left (west).

Site Info


Museum complex comprised of 8-10 log and wood structures, illustrating c.1800 frontier complex of James White.

1. The James White Fort complex is protected by a local historic overlay. The original fort was located on a site nearby, along present-day State Street between Church and Clinch Avenues. The original cabin was dismantled in the early 1900s and logs were used in a house built on Woodlawn Pike in South Knoxville. In the 1960s, the City Association of Women's Clubs led efforts to acquire the Woodlawn Pike house and use the logs in reconstructing the cabin on E. Hill Avenue. The secondary structures on the complex recreate typical outbuildings of the late 18th century in East Tennessee. The James White Fort complex was opened to the public in 1970.

2. The existing James White Fort complex is set at an angle to E. Hill Avenue on a parcel defined by Urban Renewal-era development. The buildings are set approximately 45' from the front property line and sidewalk at their closest point, with a large surface parking lot occupying half of the lot. A grassed lawn divides the museum complex and the sidewalk along E. Hill Avenue.

3. The pavilion will be set adjacent to the main cabin, with the frontmost line of the pavilion aligned with the cabin's façade. In the revised proposal, the bathroom building is enclosed within the rear of the pavilion instead of a separate structure located at the front of the property. Placement of the bathroom building as a secondary feature on the property is appropriate. If possible, the pavilion should be recessed further towards the rear property line to reduce the visual impact of the non-historic structure.

4. While the pavilion will be relatively visually transparent, due to the open-air nature of a pavilion, it is significantly larger in size than the other buildings on the complex. The application does not include a height comparison between the pavilion and the primary cabin. The rendering provided is not to scale. Especially if it cannot be recessed further on the property, the pavilion should be secondary in height and massing to the primary cabin.

5. The buildings at James White Fort are characterized by log construction, stone foundation and chimneys, cedar shake roofs, and double-hung wood windows. The design of exterior elements ("shake shingle roofs," board-and-batten siding) proposed for the outbuildings are generally aligned with the Fort's predominant materials, though the applicant should provide material specifics, including detailed dimensions and a design pattern for the shakes, to confirm they reflect the roofing pattern of the primary cabin, and material specifics for the board-and-batten siding.


Rick Staples Kimber Staples LLC

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: 865-215-3795
Email: lindsay.crockett@knoxplanning.org
Location Knoxville
205 E. Hill Ave. 37902

James White Fort Association, Inc