Friday, June 8, 2007

Kingsport Church Circle

Known as the "Model City," Kingsport, TN has a unique layout. According to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, "Kingsport was the first economically diversified, professionally planned, and privately financed city in twentieth-century America." The main street through the downtown shopping district leads directly to a round-about known as Church Circle. Here, four large, brick churches with beautiful white steeples line the circle. Three of them are pictured above (click photo to enlarge). The historical marker located there reads as follows...

Church Circle
This Kingsport landmark was designed by railroad engineer William Dunlap and refined by city planner John Nolen as an original part of the 1919 City Plan. Church Circle is one of the cornerstones of planned urban design with its "spoke and wheel" street pattern. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bank Building on Church Circle was the site of the Kingsport Inn, a hotel and social meeting place before it closed in 1960.

For a map of the area, click here. For an amazing arial tour video of Kingsport from photographer Earl Carter, click here. Also, Earl has put together a beautiful church circle slideshow/video here.

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