Preserving the Past to Invest in the Future

In 1974, the Bijou Theatre was threatened by demolition and neglect, but a group of concerned citizens was determined not to let that happen; this is how Knox Heritage was born. In the decades since, our community of preservationists has continued to execute our shared vision of preserving Knoxville’s unique cultural and architectural heritage for the next generation. More simply, we believe that preserving our past serves as an investment in our future.

As we approach our upcoming 50th anniversary, we are taking time to reflect on all that we have accomplished together so far: The revitalization of Knoxville’s now-thriving downtown, saving the Eugenia Williams House, and, yes, protecting the Historic Bijou Theatre from demolition, just to name a few. 

We are also taking the time to think about our next 50 years, as we know that the choices we make today impact future generations. We will, of course, continue our advocacy for the preservation of the buildings and places that make Knoxville unique. We’ve seen firsthand that historic preservation is a dynamic and powerful movement that can restore the integrity of our historic neighborhoods, transform places in a way that fosters economic and community growth, and enrich the quality of life. This important work will continue.

But, at the same time, we are working to expand our definition of historic preservation as a people-centered movement that creates and nurtures more equitable, healthy, resilient, vibrant, and sustainable communities to ensure the long-term success of our city and all of its neighborhoods. It’s an exciting and necessary development, and we are committed to engaging diverse members of our community in the conversation as we look to our organization’s – and Knoxville’s – future.  

Knox Heritage has many wonderful partners in our vision, and we are largely supported by individual and corporate members who help us protect and share the places that tell Knoxville’s history. We offer multiple membership levels to fit your needs, and we offer many payment options such as annual, quarterly, and monthly. Member benefits (dependent on level) include invitations to members-exclusive events, tours of Historic Westwood, and the exclusive opportunity to buy our ever-popular Summer Supper tickets before they go on sale to the public. 

Most importantly, a Knox Heritage membership allows you to join our community of passionate preservationists. Together, we serve as guardians to the spaces and places that make Knoxville such a dynamic and thriving place to live, work, and visit – now and in the future.

We hope you will consider joining us. Please visit for more information or call Janine Bolin at 865-523-8008, ext. 1.

Knox Heritage preserves structures and places of historic or cultural significance for our community. Established in 1974 as a non-profit educational corporation, our organization works to protect and raise awareness of what is beautiful and irreplaceable in East Tennessee.