Historic Zoning Commission

Knollwood Individual H Landmark: Level II


Staff Recommendation

Staff recommends approval of the east elevation door modifications and after-the-fact approval of the front dormer modifications; staff recommends denial of the front door replacement and preservation of the c.1919 door, transom, and sidelights.

Applicant Request

Overall exterior rehabilitation project approved in June 2022 (COA attached); this application includes revisions to the previously approved design.

Front door replacement: removal of c.1919 door, sidelights, and transom (previously proposed to be retained and repaired). Installation of new wood door featuring a slightly larger two-thirds light with leaded glass and two small vertical panels beneath. Installation of new sidelights, with the window panes increased in length to reflect the provided historic photo. New single-light transom with leaded glass.

East door: on the right side of the east elevation, a new secondary door was approved in place of a window opening in June 2022, featuring a single-light door flanked by sidelights and a transom to match the existing c.1919 front door and details (shown on lower drawing in application). The new application proposes to recess the door slightly, to accommodate code-required lighting, and surround the door with a scaled-down version of the molding existing on the front door. The sidelights and transom are proposed to reflect the front door as well.

Dormers: the HZC approved two new dormers on the front roof slope in June 2022. The application requests to reduce them in size and proportion, approximately 12" smaller in height and width than initially proposed, and clad in lap siding instead of the initially-proposed slate shingles.

The application also notes that the previously approved "maintenance mezzanine" (ie the rooftop deck and railing) will not be installed, and the carriage house will not be constructed.

DETAILS OF HZC MOTION FOR 3/21/24 MEETING: APPROVE the east elevation door modifications; APPROVE the front dormer modifications; DENY front door replacement, approve preservation of the c.1919 door, transom, and sidelights.

Site Info

Neoclassical, c.1851 with modifications dating to 1890s and 1920s

See attached designation report and design guidelines for architectural description of house.

1. Knollwood is an individual historic (H) landmark overlay and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Knollwood was constructed in 1851, with a porte-cochere addition dating to the late 1880s, a two-story rear addition dating to the early 1900s, and a two-story front porch constructed in approximately 1919. The design guidelines note that the additions "have effectively dated the appearance of Knollwood to some 40 years after its original construction," and "these additions should be preserved as contributing to the significance of the building."

2. The front door, transom, sidelights, and leaded glass date to the c.1919 period of restoration and contribute to the overall significance of the building. SOI Standards note that "changes to a property that have acquired historic significance in their own right" should be retained and preserved. The door is operable and able to be repaired, and should be retained.

3. The overall design of the east elevation door was already approved by the HZC. The new application is responding to building codes requirements and recessing the door, using a basic surround similar to the front door instead of the decorative lintel shown on the previous application. The simple square sidelights and transom as proposed are appropriate.

4. The front dormers were proposed at the June 2022 HZC meeting. The staff recommendation was to deny the front dormers, as adding new details on a primary roof slope with no historic precedent detracted from the historic form of the building. After extensive discussion, the Commission approved the front dormers. The front dormers were initially proposed to match the (original) side dormers in size and design. The smaller-sized dormers have already been partially framed out, as contractors in the field noted they could not expand in width due to existing roof framing. The most visible elements of the two different sizes will be the different roof peak height, and the different eave heights, between the front and side dormers. As it would also be inappropriate to reduce the historic side dormers to match the smaller ones on the front, there is little solution beyond removing the front dormers entirely, which would contradict the Commission's approval in June 2022. Cladding the new dormers in siding to match the house is appropriate.


Brian Brian Pittman - Johnson Architecture Inc. Johnson Architecture Inc.

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: 865-215-3795
Email: lindsay.crockett@knoxplanning.org
Location Knoxville
150 Major Reynolds Place 37919

Knollwood Historic Preservation LLC