The elegant old weather kiosk on the corner of Clinch Avenue and Market Street looks like something built for an Exposition of the beaux-arts era. But in fact, it was originally installed in 1912, not long before Knoxville’s gigantic and elegantly appointed National Conservation Exposition of 1913.
People used to gather around it to see what the federal weatherman had observed, and what they could expect next. Checking on the weather was a social event. So many people hung out around it, they earned a nickname – the Kiosk Leaners.
Today, the big relic is said to be one of America's only remnants of the Weather Kiosk Era. It’s both a rarity and a landmark, and one very hot day, more than 90 years ago, it attracted a very large crowd.
Written by Jack Neely and read by Richard Lee. Sound design and editing by Pete Carty. Theme song composed by Mike Stallings.
This episode is funded in part by federal award number 21.027 awarded to the City of Knoxville by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Arts & Culture Alliance.
Knoxville Chronicles is brought to you by the nonprofit Knoxville History Project.
Learn more at KnoxvilleHistoryProject.org