By Ralphine Major
A huge market house filled with vendors selling baked goods, fish, meats, and other items once anchored one side of Market Street in downtown Knoxville. Lawson McGhee Library was located on the hill across the street. Unfortunately for patrons, the market house burned in 1960. Though Market Square has changed through the years, it remains a thriving place.
Many changes and improvements were made to Market Square by the late John J. Duncan, Sr., who became Mayor of Knoxville in 1959. The market house was replaced by a mall. Concrete-type awnings, often called “umbrellas,” lined both sides of Market Square Mall outside the shops and restaurants. The Blue Circle was a popular place to eat on Market Square. One of the well-known businesses, Tucker’s Record Shop, was always stocked with lots of vinyl records including 45s and long-play albums. Walls in the store were often covered with autographed posters of country music artists. Market Square, another of Knoxville’s landmarks on the National Historic Register, was one of the selected sites that then County Executive Dwight Kessel invited citizens to visit during Knox County’s 200-year celebration in 1992. Christmas has always been a festive time on Market Square. A tall, beautifully decorated Christmas tree has often been the focal point on the mall. For many years, a common sight on the mall was the skating rink set up during the Christmas season. Through all the changes, Market Square is still a popular place in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Words of Faith: “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” Romans 12:12. (NKJV).