Vintage Properties



The Knox Heritage Vintage Properties program is a nationally recognized historic real estate program. An article in the National Trust Forum Journal from Fall 2014 tells the story of how Vintage Properties started and how early projects were managed:

Article : Knox Heritage’s Real Estate Program: From Modest Start to Powerful Preservation Tool

Historic properties offer a unique charm and quality that new construction simply cannot duplicate. Their craftsmanship, style, and detailing are timeless and truly make a house feel like a home. Knoxville’s history is visible in its homes built in the 1800s and early 1900s. The Vintage Properties program is designed to rescue endangered historic properties and preserve their unique style and architectural heritage while stabilizing and improving historic neighborhoods.

In partnership with the City of Knoxville and neighborhood residents, Knox Heritage targets properties in need of restoration and creates fully restored or renovated homes ready for purchase and immediate occupation.

Interested in Vintage Properties like us? Consider joining our Vintage Properties Committee which meets every fourth Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Call 865.523.8008 for more information on how to become involved.


Read more about the program and see before and after photos of past projects here: Vintage Properties History 1999-2017.

Watch a video about the Green House Project:


Knox Heritage and the City of Knoxville are working together to ensure a bright future for the culturally significant Lloyd Branson House. The house was originally built in 1922 for prominent Knoxville artist Lloyd Branson, but had been declared blighted by the City and recently included in the annual Knox Heritage Fragile Fifteen list of endangered historic places. Initial funding for the project will come from the Knox Heritage J. Allen Smith Endangered Properties Fund which was originally initiated with contributions from a private donor and the 1772 Foundation.

Enoch Lloyd Branson (1853–1925) was best known for his portraits of Southern politicians and depictions of early East Tennessee history. One of the most influential figures in Knoxville’s early art circles, Mr. Branson was a mentor to fellow Knoxville artist Catherine Wiley and is credited with discovering twentieth-century portraitist Beauford Delaney. He operated a popular portrait shop with photographer Frank McCrary on Gay Street and is responsible for the development of the neighborhood in which this home is located, serving as the planner and builder for many homes on the street. Originally named Rhode Island Avenue, the street name was changed to Branson Avenue by the City of Knoxville to recognize his cultural contributions.

Knox Heritage was able to purchase the home through the City of Knoxville’s Homemaker program which seeks buyers for properties needing significant renovation. The nonprofit preservation organization will transform the property into a beautiful three bedroom home and seek a new owner. Donations of design services and materials will assist with the project and a historic overlay will be added, ensuring the property will be a neighborhood asset for years to come. Educational workshops and tours will be held during the renovation.


A preservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that protects a significant historic, archaeological, or cultural resource. An easement provides assurance to the owner of a historic or cultural property that the property’s intrinsic values will be preserved through subsequent ownership. Certain tax benefits may result for certified historic properties.

Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance currently hold several easements on historic properties and are prepared to assist with this process. Please contact Todd Morgan, our Director of Preservation Field Services, for more information. You can read more about preservation easements in this National Park Service publication or in this National Trust publication.

Please note that easements are legal tools defined by state laws (and, in some cases, if federal tax incentives are sought, by federal law) and the advice and assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, tax adviser, appraiser, and/or other professionals should be sought prior to using this tool. The National Trust offers a preservation easement Q & A that may answer some additional questions. For tax benefits associated with such easements, please review this information and refer to IRS guidelines.


There are many reasons a property donation to a 501(c)3 like Knox Heritage is worth considering. There may be a tax deduction for the value of the donation, there may be reduced capital gains taxes if the property has appreciated substantially while under one ownership, there is assurance that the property will be protected with a preservation easement going forward (controlling exterior changes and prohibiting demolition), there can be timely relief from managing expenses involved with maintenance and ownership, and preservation organizations like ours can assist with finding a preservation-minded new owner who will commit to renovating the property and proper maintenance going forward (which our easements require). Every property is different and every owner can have a different reason for this consideration. Our organization is here to assist with these transitions when they can have a positive outcome for all parties involved. Please contact Todd Morgan, our Director of Preservation Field Services, for more information.


Knox Heritage awards Historic Building Markers for the purpose of alerting the public that a building is an important element of the community’s built environment. It may be of outstanding historic importance or be a good local example of a particular architectural style, which exhibits excellence in restoration and maintenance.

If you are interested in learning more about identifying your building or residence with a Knox Heritage marker, please take time to review the following materials:

Historic Building Marker Criteria & Guidlines
Historic Building Marker Procedures
Historic Building Marker Application

Knox Heritage Historic Building Markers are available for $100 (which includes the $25 application fee). For more information, please call our office at 865.523.8008 or email


Knox Heritage helps vintage properties find new owners by partnering with Realtors and property owners who are current members and supporters, See our Vintage Properties for sale HERE.