Southern Bell Events is located on the first floor of the Buck Brothers Building in historic downtown Lenoir City, Tennessee. The first half of this 15,000 sf brick building was built in 1907. It began as a mercantile store in the center of town operated by the Buck Brothers. Then in 1920, the second half was built and over the years, the first floor of the two buildings held a variety of clothing stores and the Rexall Drug Store. The second floor was the home of the Southern Bell Telephone switching office and a large dancehall.
In 2014, Diane Powell and Mark Uhran purchased the building and began extensive renovations. Because of the size and location of this historic building, they quickly envisioned an event venue. Diane has over twenty years experience in creating and managing events at their Bed and Breakfast on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and for NASA.
They chose the name Southern Bell Events in recognition of the building’s history and the many women telephone switchboard operators that worked there. The 3500 sf portion of the building where the venue is located was built in 1920 and reflects the art deco designs that were so popular in that era. Both the front and rear entrances of the building feature colored prism glass tiles and vintage store windows. The guest space features 13 ft high ceilings that are entirely covered with pressed tin.
The recent renovations include a complete bridal suite, a caterer’s prep kitchen, and two large, ADA bathrooms.
Antique doors, crystal chandeliers and unique furnishings are used throughout the venue to create an upscale, vintage vibe that guests will love.