The site of the Cherokee Health Systems East Knox Clinic has been providing medical care to the adjacent community since the 1960s. The clinic was originally established by Dr. Walter Hardy, a prominent African-American physician and sought to establish a presence in the neighborhood to address the underserved patients in the community. The clinic continued providing care for many years under Knox County Health Department and in 2012 Cherokee Health purchased the buildings and fully committed their resources to providing care.
The clinic is one of many that supports Cherokee Health’s mission to provide care to underserved areas. The entire adjacent public housing area, Walter P. Taylor Homes, is also undergoing a substantial revitalization of which the clinic is designated as an amenity for the neighborhood. The existing public access and waiting areas were constrained and lacked a thoughtful connection to the community. The existing buildings were located between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Avenue and the Walter P. Taylor Homes. The building thus needed to provide a connection to both the access from the road and from the neighborhood. The addition between the buildings is the mainly the waiting area and patient check in, but more importantly designed as an urban connection through the development. Hence, the site plan of the building sought to influence the connections to the adjacent housing redevelopment.