Pryor Brown Garage (43)

314-322 West Church Avenue

The Pryor Brown Garage may be one of America’s oldest parking-garage buildings, but its legacy is older still, and is a rare example of a continued use of a historic garage for more than a century. South Knox County horseman Pryor Brown (1849-1936) operated a popular livery stable on this spot by the 1890s. In 1925, cars were becoming more popular than horses, so Brown took the next logical step for a transportation professional and built a mixed-use parking garage here, finishing the project in 1929. Hence the Pryor Brown Livery Stable became the Pryor Brown Garage. The mixed-use building, admired by later parking-garage designers, served as a sort of intermodal transit center, with a cab and freight service. The elderly Mr. Brown established his office on the buildings northwest corner. The “House of Brown,” as it was grandly known in its early years, was used as a public parking garage until 2013.

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