Local Lore: Park City Branch Library


With credit due for decisions made by the City Council of 1929 and 1930, this Sixth District building, on the corner of E. Magnolia Avenue and Chestnut Street, was completed as the new Park City Branch of the Lawson McGhee Library in the Summer of 1931. Construction costs were $28,500 then, about $427,379 in 2017 dollars.

The building was designed by the well-known local architecture firm of Baumann & Baumann. The firm had designed an array Knoxville landmarks by the time the Park City branch library was built, including, recently constructed at the time, the Andrew Johnson Hotel and the Knoxville Post Ofiice.

The first librarian in charge of the branch was Miss Margaret Preston, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. George Preston at 3825 Delwood Drive, in the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood. She was a graduate of the University of Tennessee and had worked in the library system for several years before studying at Columbia University Library School in New York.

Interest in a Park City branch library was initially supported with a small temporary building, referred to as "the smallest building in the world" starting in 1926. The building was situated on E. Magnolia Avenue near Olive Street. It was donated by G.T. Fielden, the developer of the 1927 North Hills neighborhood. He had previously used the building to advertise real estate.

The 1936 building continued in service as a library until 1965. Maragret Preston retired from library service in 1972.

Here's a few phtographs.

Resources and Sources:
"Library Branch for Park City: To Open 'Playhouse' Next Week" Knoxville News-Sentinel, June 12, 1926
"Park City Library in 'Doll House' Draws Many" Knoxville News-Sentinel, June 23, 1926
"Form New Subdivision: North Hills Inc. Wants $123,000 Charter" Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 12, 1927
"North Hills 'Knoxville's Master Suburb' Knoxville News-Sentinel, June 19,1927
"Pick Library Architect: A.B. Baumann Will Design New Building" Knoxville News-Sentinel, May 28, 1929
"Seek Library in Park City: P.T.A. Committee to Visit Council March 25" Knoxville News-Sentinel, March 15, 1930
City Council Will Remodel High School Gym for Class Rooms: Council Votes $25,000; Library to be Built in Park City 25,000" Knoxville News-Sentinel, March 26, 1930
"$19,800 Voted for Libraries: Last of Improvement Fund to be Used for Branch Units" Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 9, 1930
"Name Branch Librarian: Board Selects Miss Preston for Park City Branch" Knoxville News -Sentinel, January 22, 1931
"New Park City Library: Miss Margaret Preston to be in Charge of this $28,000 Structure at Magnolia and Chestnut" Knoxville News-Sentinel, March 19, 1931.
"Library to Open: Park City Branch to Begin Lending Books Friday" Knoxville News-Sentinel, May 17, 1931
"Branch Library Closings Upset Patrons" Knoxville News-Sentinel, March 18, 1965
"Miss Preston Retires at Library" Knoxville News-Sentinel, October 8, 1972