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Owner granted permit to demolish Pryor Brown Garage
Published May 15, 2023; 9:00 p.m.

The owners of the century-old Pryor Brown Garage in downtown Knoxville have been issued a permit to demolish the four-story brick structure, which is vacant, deteriorating and has been mostly missing a roof for several years.

The garage sits on a downtown city block bounded by Gay Street, Cumberland Avenue, Market Street and Church Avenue. Most of the block is now used as a surface parking lot, with the closed garage fronting on Church at Market.

The demolition permit is valid for a year, and the owners can proceed with the demolition at a time of their choosing once they have coordinated with the City on executing an approved traffic safety plan.

During the demolition, expected to take about a week, the east-side lane on Market Street beside the garage and the south-side (eastbound) lane on Church Avenue would be closed, along with those sections of sidewalks.

The City had no legal option for denying a Pryor Brown Garage demolition permit – only that the proposed demolition be done in a way that's safe and compliant with City adopted codes.

Pryor Brown Garage is not protected by a historic overlay zoning, and a mandatory 60-day wait period for demolition of an unprotected historical structure expired months ago in this case.

The only limitation to the owners of the property is a City Council prohibition on using the footprint of the existing garage for additional surface parking, which was put in place by a previous Council during Mayor Madeline Rogero's tenure in office.


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