Knoxville’s World’s Fair: A quarter century perspective

April 5, 2007

Metro Pulse has several articles on the Knoxville World’s Fair of 1982. While the Fair was generally judged to be a failure, it left Knoxville a better place to visit. The Sunsphere remains the most distinctive building in the state, and today’s visitors can also enjoy the renovated L & N train station. The Fair site, formerly an industrial valley of despair, is now a pleasant park connecting downtown Knoxville to the Fort Sanders neighborhood.

Jack Neely, who wrote the lead piece in Metro Pulse, made a perceptive comment about the Fair’s impact: “Some Knoxville businessmen noticed that just after the Fair, national news reports on NPR and the TV networks referred to Knoxville as “Knoxville”–and not “Knoxville, Tennessee,” which implies folks might not know where Knoxville was, or get us mixed up with the one in Iowa.”

Of the four main cities in Tennessee, Knoxville was the last one to get this distinction.