St. John’s Lutheran Church

Parking Expansion & Stone Entryway

Knoxville, TN


The historic St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Knoxville desired to create a more attractive entrance from the public right of way and enhance their parking area while improving circulation and storm water issues.  The result was the addition of a stone entryway that blended with the architecture of the existing building and new pervious pavers that created patterns and improved appearance in existing parking areas.

At the time of the project, the city of Knoxville would not allow pervious pavers in lieu of a catch basin and storm drainage system that was typical for the downtown.  After much discussions and presentation of the information by the architect, the city allowed the church to provide a new approach.  After installation the city actually brought fire pumper trucks onto the site to test both the physical strength of the pavers and also their acceptability to receive and retain storm water.  The design not only passed all the city’s tests but exceeded design criteria and expectations.  The city now encourages the use of pervious pavers on all its projects.

The revisions solved both goals of creating a more attractive entrance to the church while also eliminating existing drainage concerns.