Knoxville businessman purchases historic Howard House

(Wood Properties)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) — A home on Knox Heritage’s “Fragile 15” list has been purchased.

Danny and Rhoda Harb purchased the historic Howard House. Danny Harb works at HP Video. He says he always admired the house when he was growing up. While his plans aren’t set in stone, Harb says he plans to take things slow and enjoy the home’s historical charm.

“I just thought it was not only a nice house but a good buy,” said Harb. “We don’t really have any immediate plans other than to put an office there and fix it up, but nothing elaborate or dreamy or anything like that. it was just a good buy, with a pretty house in a good setting.”

Built in an era when many prominent Knoxvillians lived on Broadway, the historic Paul Howard House has been home to two city councilmen, a Knox County trustee, and a Knoxville city manager. For more than 60 years, it has been owned by the Howards, a prosperous plumbing-supplies family, but after Paul Howard died in 2014, the home went up for sale.

Source: Bruce McCamish

In April 2010, Knox Heritage Executive Director Kim Trent said a developer offered a large amount of money to purchase and demolish the Howard House as well as Centerpoint Church, which is next door. She said Knox Heritage was told the developer planned to take the package to Walmart.

A plan to demolish the house and replace it with a grocery store was dropped in 2015 after an outcry from the community and numerous donations, including $100,000 from an anonymous donor. However, the home remained on Knox Heritage’s ‘Fragile 15’ list.

Harb says one of his loves is old homes and old buildings. He owned a house in Charleston, South Carolina built in the same year.

“We’re kind of looking forward to getting in there. It will be kind of a mystery getting in there behind walls and things like that and try to get it to what it was like originally,” said Harb. “We’ll see what ghosts are behind these things and surprises.”

Source: Bruce McCamish

He says his favorite part of the house is the woodwork on the home. He also fell in love with the property’s grounds.

“They are actually quite spacious and very nice. I think it could be brought back up nicely as well,” said Harb.

One thing is for certain. Harb says he plans to take his time to restore the home to its former beauty.

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