Design Review Board

Level 1: Minor alteration of an existing building/structure


Staff Recommendation for Level 1: Minor alteration of an existing building/structure

Staff recommends approval of Certificate 9-D-21-DT, with the following condition: 1) existing historic marble entry vestibule flooring to be preserved, and repaired as necessary.

Applicant Request

New exterior awning, to extend length of storefront entry, and located below the Hope Brothers marble signboard area and above the storefront window systems. The low-profile, shed awning will be 6' deep by 18" tall, featuring striped canvas with a scalloped valance. Awning will extend outwards from the building to cover the exterior seating area.

Applicant had proposed removal of marble floor surface on the exterior entry vestibule and replacement with a mosaic marble field tile floor, featuring Tennessee Pink Marble accents and a circular logo medallion. Per conditions of approval of 9/15/2021 DRB meeting: existing historic marble floor to be repaired and rpeserved.

No other modifications to previous approval. Existing COA (11-B-19-DT) still applies.

Site Info

428 S. Gay Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure to the Gay Street Commercial Historic District, so the Historic Resources section of the design guidelines applies.

The overall exterior rehabilitation project for the building was reviewed and approved by the DRB in November 2019 (11-B-19-DT - see attached COA for conditions of approval). The scopes of work to be reviewed today include the awning and the entry vestibule floor replacement. The DRB does not review railings or similar patio enclosures, which are considered temporary installments in the right-of-way and are permitted with the City of Knoxville in a separate process.

The proposed canvas awning meets the design guidelines, as a low-profile shed awning of canvas material. The awning is proportionate to the storefront, contained within the storefront it shelters, and doesn't cover adjacent wall surfaces. The proposed placement also will not obscure the historic sign above.

A historic photo from the McClung Collection, dating to approximately 1936, shows the checkered marble flooring as it exists today. The existing marble flooring is a historic element which is a character-defining feature of the building and should be repaired as necessary, instead of replaced for aesthetic purposes. No documentation of the historic flooring's deterioration has been submitted; a photo requested by staff shows generally intact materials. If the existing historic flooring material were severely deteriorated, additional documentation of the flooring's condition should be submitted and replacement flooring should match the existing in design, color, texture, and materials.


Oren Yarbrough / Design Innovation Architects

Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: (865) 215-3795
428 S. Gay St.

Ephant Group