Been on vacation. Latest from the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission:
Happy Holler commercial
district has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places
for its cultural and historic significance to Knoxville's early days of
The nomination, submitted to the U.S. National Park
Service, was written by Metropolitan Planning Commission
staff and was pre-approved by the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Happy Holler's historic and cultural value is tied to its collection of
early 20th-century buildings, the most complete example in Knoxville
outside of Downtown. The district runs along both sides of the 1200
block of N. Central Street and forms the core of
a community-oriented shopping district established along early trolley
Most buildings in Happy Holler are one-story commercial structures built
between 1900 and 1930. The area served northside residents, from the
community now known as Old North Knoxville, a Victorian-era neighborhood
lying to the east of Happy Holler, as well
as the families of textile, railroad, and iron workers who lived to the
west. Trolley lines brought other Knoxvillians-many from nearby Lincoln
Park and Oakwood subdivisions-to the grocery, drug, and hardware
stores, movie theater, and other venues in Happy
The name "Happy Holler" came from both its low-lying topography and its
popularity during Prohibition, well known for its bootleggers who
operated from back rooms in the district. Despite its notoriety, Happy
Holler also became a popular entertainment area.
The first suburban movie theater in Knoxville, The Picto, opened at
1205 Central Street in 1916.
Today, Happy Holler retains a unique identity that has not diminished
with the passage of time, and it remains a distinctive and vital retail
and service area.
The National Register documents properties that are historically and
culturally important to local, state, and national heritage and
highlights their significance by placing the nomination reports within
the National Archives of History.
A Register nomination
establishes a review and mitigation process in cases where a federal
project would have a negative impact on the properties. Another benefit
is a Federal Income Tax Credit for the certified rehabilitation of
properties listed in the National Register.