Wall of historic Maryville building to be repaired
By Iva Butler | (email@example.com)
Work should start this week on repairing the wall on the northeast side of the historic National School Products building in downtown Maryville.
The Downtown Design Review Board approved the plans Wednesday.
The wall is 165 feet wide, and the height varies, averaging 30 to 40 feet.
The building, located at 101 E. Broadway Ave., is owned by John Nowell of Maryville, who now operates National School Products from 1523 Old Niles Ferry Road, Maryville.
The three-story building, currently used by Nowell for storage, is bordered by East Broadway Avenue, Cusick Street, East Harper Avenue and the former Meares building, which is currently being renovated.
Maryville Development Services Director John Jagger said “there is a lot of flaking paint and spalling of the brick face.
“While there is no evidence that this wall is currently in danger of failing like the southwest wall did a few years ago, it is in poor condition and needs attention to forestall future problems.”
A large section of the brick facade on the southwest side of the building bordering Cusick Street collapsed the night of Jan. 1, 2009.
The former Meares building is now owned by Randy Elliott. Repairing the wall would benefit both Nowell and Elliott “by eliminating the nuisance/danger of flaking paint and brick faces falling. It would also remove a major eyesore from the downtown area,” Jagger said.
A third building was previously located beside the Nowell building, which the city earlier tore down.
Elliott wants to build a 60-foot addition in the middle of the empty space fronting East Harper Avenue, and this would make it more difficult for Nowell to get to the wall.
Tim Salley, who is doing the renovation for Elliott, said the plan is to maintain a courtyard on the front of the building and add a second in the back facing Harper.
He started the renovation work around Christmas on the roof and has since brought the stairs up to codes, built a new storefront and other renovations, including painting the outside brick face an adobe color.
Planned for commercial use, the building already has its first tenant. Leanne Thomas held an open house for MasterPeace Yoga Friday night. The business is located on the third floor.
Nowell plans to hire Salley to pressure wash the northeast wall of National School Products to remove any loose brick faces and paint. Permacrete, which is a high-concrete-based product that can be tooled to replicate the brick pattern, will be used to rebuild the few spots where the brick is either missing or significantly eroded.
Small ventilation openings at the base will be rebricked, but a former window near the top will be recessed brick to maintain the appearance of a window from the ground.
Then a heavy duty sealant will be applied to the entire wall. It is believed that the southwest wall failed because of moisture infiltration, Jagger said.
The wall will then be painted gray to match the rest of the building.
It would have been better if the wall had been maintained over the years and not painted.
“The wall has experienced significant deterioration and has been painted for many years, according to Jagger.
Other downtown changes
One more downtown building is scheduled to be vacated in August. The Tomato Head Restaurant is moving to Bearden.
Building owner Mike Owens said he has not given any thought to new tenants, but is “sure it will stay a restaurant. We’ll just rent it.”
He formerly operated the Soup Kitchen at that site.
Jeff and Kristy Morton, of Knoxville, purchased the former Tommy Covington building at 111 W. Broadway Ave. beside First Tennessee Bank.
The structure has been renovated and is ready for commercial clients.
Built in 1915, the building contains three stories, with one fronting on West Broadway and the other on West Harper Avenue.
Roy Garrett said he has an option from someone to purchase the large, three-story former Roy’s Record Shop, but does not know the name of the possible buyer or use planned for the building.