Reclaiming the past to build communities for the future

  • 2020 Urban Land Institute, Innovation in Senior Housing Award
  • 2018 Senior News Architecture & Design Award
  • 2017 Knox County Mayor Award

Historic Knoxville High - Retirement living at its finest

Robust city living, moments from the Historic Old City of Knoxville. Experience the history of one of Knoxville’s treasured landmarks, Knoxville High Independent Senior Living. Please visit the Knoxville High Independent Senior Living community website.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Opened in December 2018

The hippest place in Knoxville might just be where your grandma lives. Dover Signature Properties has restored the venerable old Knoxville High School building on East Fifth Avenue and turned it into 80 senior living apartments with the kind of amenities you’d expect to find only in large cities—or perhaps on vacation.

Knoxville High Independent Senior Living is a lifestyle-focused community rather than a healthcare-focused assisted living facility. Dover Signature Properties general manager Rick Dover says “This is where you want to come to live if you’re growing less enamored of driving, cooking, and cleaning, but you want to be part of a really cool community of active seniors who are out doing things,” Dover says.

Knox High Independent Senior Living offers large spacious apartments with 15ft ceilings, a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances including a stackable washer and dryer, quartz countertops, with the original historic architecture from 1910 - including interior brick, hexagon tile work and large monument windows, original maple floors, and restored tin ceiling.

All Inclusive Amenities include three restaurant style gourmet meals per day (with monthly visits from local celebrity chefs), a piano lounge, transportation services, valet parking, housekeeping, daily wellness programs, salon services, around the clock staffing, a fitness center, wireless remote key fob for entry and exit, an emergency call system in every apartment and an on-site museum.

The museum honors the old high school, whose alumni association is enthusiastic and whose history includes such well-known graduates as actress Patricia Neal, actor John Cullum, and author James Agee. It will offer rotating exhibits curated by the association. “We plan to utilize the outdoor spaces to include regular art activities for the public around the school’s famous Doughboy Statue, dedicated in 1922 to honor World War I veterans. It’s important to us that our restoration activities add to the richness of the living experience of our residents,” Dover says.

The Classical Revival-style building is on the National Register of Historic Places, which means that there are stringent guidelines for restoration that have been followed to the letter. “Knox Heritage has been a great help to us when it comes to these projects,” Dover says. “They deal with the historic preservation offices at the federal and state levels on a day-to-day basis, and we rely on their expertise.”

The building, which has not been used as a school since 1951, has remained occupied by the Knoxville Board of Education and is in sound structural shape. Dover’s two main areas of focus have been the historic preservation and bringing the building up to LEED environmental standards. Dover has locally sourced labor and materials to cut the building’s carbon footprint. “We have repurposed whatever original materials we can from the building, like marble and wood, in unique ways rather than throwing them away,” he says.

Knoxville High Independent Senior Living is just minutes away from Knoxville’s thriving Downtown and trendy Old City neighborhoods, close to shopping, healthcare and major interstates. Knox High is perfect for seniors who are looking for an independent, enriched lifestyle with plentiful recreational, educational and social opportunities.

“This is a beautiful building that’s important to Knoxville history, and believe this unique property is perfect for active seniors that are looking for the freedom of Independent Living. We don’t think there’s anything else out there like it.” Dover says.

For questions about senior living options in Knoxville, please visit theKnoxville High Independent Senior Living community website.

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