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'New' Market Square walking path includes bricks used more than a century ago in original Jackson Ave. ramps

The walkway was installed by F.L. Lay Masonry and crews work year-round to keep the walkway and surrounding landscaping looking brand new.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When visitors traverse the short Market Square walking path, surrounded by tall sawtooth oak trees and carefully landscaped bushes, they are actually stepping through history. 

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon posted about the walkway on Tuesday, sharing that many of the "new" red brick pavers used in the walkway are actually around 103 years old. She said some of them were used in the original Jackson Avenue ramps at Gay Street.

The ramps were replaced almost two years ago, and many of the old brick pavers were incorporated into the new ramps. Some of the ones that weren't used in the ramps were salvaged and taken to Market Square instead, keeping them in the community.

The new walkway includes a plaque that tells visitors about its history. It says that some of the bricks used in the walkways date back to 1919.

F.L. Lay Masonry installed it, according to Mayor Kincannon, and horticulture crews work year-round to keep it looking good.

The walkway leads to Market Square proper, where visitors can find storefronts and a stage that hosts events of all kinds. It gets its name from the Market House that once stood in the center of the square. On the other side of the walkway, there is a memorial commemorating the role Tennessee women played in their fight for the right to vote.

The first inklings of what Market Square would become can be found in 1854 when developers donated land to the city for a public market. In the years that followed, the area would be redesigned to fit the style of the time.

Check out the new Market Square walking path, beneath the six beloved sawtooth oaks! This south end of the...

Posted by Mayor Indya Kincannon on Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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