Some of you may remember a previous post in which I was graciously allowed to view some of the apartments inside the Arnstein Building as they were under construction. It’s a fascinating project – Knoxville’s first “skyscraper” at a full seven stories – as well as the intrigue of Urban Outfitters’ fitful romance with our city. I noted then that I’m asked about that building as often as any downtown. It was a great behind-the-scenes sort of tour.
Now that a few months have passed, what’s happened? Urban Outfitters finally “put a ring on it” and moved in. BarberMcMurry architects have assumed their awesome space. And the units above have now been leased. Imagine my delight when I learned that my friends Jerry and Millie (who you first met a year and six days ago here) had leased the top floor unit overlooking Market Square. How cool would that be? They invited me to find out.
I arrived on a recent Tuesday night to take in the lovely Jazz on the Square from seven stories above. I have to say Jazz in the Sky may be even better. While we enjoyed the luxury of being in their apartment with wine and hor d’oeuvres, the open windows served up a spectacular breeze and heavenly jazz at just the right volume. We could hear every note, but we could comfortably converse. I’m not sure there is a better spot to enjoy this great event. Friends Katie and Johnathan joined us for a great evening. Long-term readers of the blog first met Katie two years ago and Johnathan a year ago this month.
The apartment features twelve-foot ceilings (I’m guessing) and a beautiful kitchen area complete with elegant appliances, granite counter tops and a granite island. Cool, sort of semi-industrial lighting hangs over the island somehow spanning the gap between industrial and elegant. While the unit has the exposed pipes you expect in similar redevelopments, with the ceilings so high, the industrial component remains in soft focus.
The unit is a two bedroom, with one interior bedroom featuring beautiful French doors and the other, master bedroom washed in light from two very large windows. A nice walk-in closet leads to a very nice bathroom. The apartment is compact, but the closet with its high ceilings and spacious cabinets offers ample storage. The living area is open and feels much bigger than its square-footage might indicate.
But it’s the views that make the place sparkle. To the east is Krutch Park. Jerry explained that lower floors actually get a better view of the park because this time of year the canopy of trees obscures a view of the ground from their elevation, while lower floors can look below it. I thought the view of the treetops felt magical. How often do most of us see trees from that perspective? The views of the Holston and other buildings in that direction are also lovely.
Of course, it’s the view of Market Square that sets this unit apart. The western side of the square is completely exposed from this perspective while the Bill Lyons Stage at Market Square is incredibly clear. The rooftop patios on the eastern side of the square are also easily viewed. I love the rooftop at Preservation Pub and it looks as pretty as ever from that perspective.
Meanwhile, that night, the sun set just to the west of the TVA towers while the lighting on the stage below illuminated it with a warm glow as night gathered. We left the lights in the apartment off until nearly full dark. The sun lingered on the top of the building as it faded from neighbors land-bound below. The jazz drifted in with the breeze and urban living seemed the only logical option.