Kingsport, the “Model City,” was the first American city in the 20th century that was privately financed and professionally planned. Chartered in 1917, it was also the first city in Tennessee to adopt a city manager form of government. Kingsport’s location on the Clinchfield Railroad played a significant role in the development of the city, but it was the early visionaries and leaders who embraced the city’s potential and transformed it. City planner John Nolen, expanding on existing city plans, created a unique physical design and layout with areas zoned specifically for industrial, residential, commercial, and spiritual development. Downtown Kingsport, anchored by the iconic Church Circle on one end and the historic train depot on the other, was the heart of industrial and economic growth. Take a cruise down Broad Street from its early beginnings to the modern era.
Author Bio: Images of America: Downtown Kingsport showcases images from the Archives of the City of Kingsport. The Archives, opened in 1994, is the first municipal archive in Tennessee. Author Brianne Wright, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University, is employed as the archivist for the City of Kingsport.