I actually went to see Oak Ridge, TN, but didn't find any sort of downtown area. That doesn't mean it's not there, it very well may be (note to self: look these things up before you head out!), I just couldn't find it. But then I saw a sign that said "Oliver Springs 5 miles," so I forged ahead. Then there was a little exit marked "Downtown." I'm so glad I went. Oliver Springs has an amazing old downtown.
Here are some photos from right outside the downtown area. Perhaps one of the coolest things about Oliver Springs is that the historic houses and buildings are marked with signs. The picture I took of the sign from this house is blurry, but I believe it says Spotwood & Naomi Henley Home 1904.
This house didn't have an historic marker, but I don't love it any less. Maybe I'm the only one, but I adore this house. I would love to see it restored. But that roof! I want to put it in my pocket and save it for later.
The people who live in Oliver Springs really seem to know they have something special. Like with most downtown areas of this sort, there are the shops and then there is a neighborhood of old houses around the shops. We can't go this weekend, but I am definitely dragging R to this antique shop ASAP. The building was built in 1901-02 and was used in the movie October Sky. I haven't seen that movie yet but we're definitely renting it now.
It looks like someone is restoring this building, at least a bit. Thank God. I say that in all seriousness. I love to see that old brick and those windows and the shape of the facade.
This is another one that just breaks my heart, it's so lovely.
Here's a shot of the neighborhood surrounding the downtown area. The houses are something else. The white house in this picture was built in the 1890s; the church was built around the same time, but then it was replaced with this brick building in 1920. The beautiful windows are from the original building.
There are many more detail shots on my flickr. If you have a minute, check them out and let me know what you think. As for me, I'm in love.