Historic Southern Railway Station, Knoxville

#9 of 11 in Historic Sites in Knoxville
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Southern Terminal is a former railway complex located at 306 West Depot Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. The complex, which includes a passenger terminal and express depot adjacent to a large railyard, was built in 1903 by the Southern Railway. Both the terminal and depot were designed by noted train station architect Frank Pierce Milburn (1868–1926). In 1985, the terminal complex, along with several dozen warehouses and storefronts in the adjacent Old City and vicinity, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Southern Terminal and Warehouse Historic District.

During the 1850s, the arrival of the railroad— namely the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad and its predecessor lines— transformed Knoxville from a small river town of just over 2,000 residents to one of the southeast's major wholesaling centers. Wholesaling firms built dozens of large warehouses along Jackson Avenue and adjacent streets, where smalltown merchants from across East Tennessee would purchase goods and supplies to resell at rural general stores. In 1894, the ETV&G was absorbed by the Southern Railway,which in turn became part of the Norfolk Southern Railway in 1982.
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17 reviews
  • I found the Historic Southern Railway Station on the TripAdvisor listings. It was easy to find but not easy to photograph. It’s built really close to the side of the hill. There was a line of...  more »
  • In May, while staying in Knoxville for but a short time, I discovered the Southern Railroad Station, and being the “train buff,” that I am, could not let the opportunity pass. Unfortunately, this...  more »
  • Historic and educational. My family and I enjoyed going through the old railroad cars and visiting the historic Depot. I was hired by Southern Railroad in this Depot in 1976 and was blessed with a 39 year career retiring in 2014 as a Locomotive Engineer. Free admission
  • Southern Railway is absolutely beautiful! It has rooms for both bride and groom to get ready as well as multiple locations for your ceremony and reception. The historical architecture is perfect for a wedding ceremony and there are plenty of locations for photos. I would recommend this venue to everyone!
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