Rebori Building

Rebori building

The Rebori Building, which forms the corner of the Gay Street 100 block, was built by Col. Charles McClung McGhee as a memorial to his daughter Lawson. It originally housed the Lawson McGhee Library, providing permanent quarters to the then-struggling private library association. That was in 1885.

In 1904 fire gutted the roof, and the building was rebuilt into its current appearance. In 1915 the building was put up for sale, and was purchased by a surprising buyer: Fiorenzo Rebori, an Italian immigrant who had long sold fruit and confections from a lean-to stand next to the building. He bought the building as a private residence for his family, although the first floor continued to be used for retail. His descendents owned the building until 1999, when Jim and Glenda Jo Mason transformed it into a residence building. The building was sold again this past May, and little is known about the new buyer.

The building overlooks the 100 block of Gay Street, home of the famous Underground Gay Street. Until 2008 this sub-level of Knoxville ran beneath the road and comprised the basements of most of the surrounding buildings. In 2009 renovations and dynamite sealed up some of the more dangerous areas beneath the road, but there remain many secrets that stretch back to the original pre-1919 street.

Rebori Building

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