World's Fair Park Background

Your gateway to freedom, function, and fun.

With all its lovely landscaping, wide, open spaces and wonderful water features, the new World's Fair Park provides endless possibilities for celebrating life in Knoxville, Tennessee.

History of World's Fair Park

Since its inception in 1971, the Public Building Authority (PBA) of Knoxville has carried out joint and individual projects for Knox County and the City of Knoxville that have greatly enhanced our area’s attractions and services. One of the largest and most significant of the PBA endeavors in recent past is the construction and management of the new Convention Center and the subsequent upgrading and expansion of the World’s Fair Park.

The new World’s Fair Park is a state-of-the-art urban paradise that incorporates most of the major landmarks from the 1982 World’s Fair held in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, and takes the functionality of the site to an impressive new level.

The infrastructure of the park is designed to efficiently support events from an intimate wine-tasting to a huge outdoor concert. Electricity and water are strategically placed to accommodate one or more events taking place simultaneously, and thoughtfully conceived underpinnings like reinforced lawns, give the park extra strength and flexibility for a wide range of possible uses.

The park is rich with environmental features that are characteristic of the region. The dogwood – our city’s signature tree – can be seen everywhere, seasonal color adds interest throughout the year, and sweeping green lawns provide open, inviting, multi-purpose areas. Water in its many forms is a central feature of the park and the landscaping is an abundant mixture of both native and adaptive plants that reflect Knoxville’s close proximity to the mountains and the importance of nature in many of our lives.

Public Building Authority

In 1971, Knox County and the City of Knoxville collaborated to create the Public Building Authority of County of Knox and the City of Knoxville, Tennessee (the PBA). The Certificate of Incorporation of the PBA was filed with the Secretary of the State of Tennessee on July 20, 1971. Over the years the Public Building Authority has implemented cooperative and individual projects for Knox County and the City of Knoxville and other affiliated entities like the Knox County Board of Education and the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.

Here are just a few of the activities for which the PBA has premiere responsibility:

  • Construction, management, operation and lease of various public facilities owned by the PBA.
  • Construction, management and operation of facilities owned by Knox County and the City of Knoxville.
  • Specification, acquisition, maintenance, operation and supervision of telephone/ telecommunications infrastructure owned by Knox County and/or the City of Knoxville.
  • Provision of telecommunications consultation and advice to Knox County and the City of Knoxville.

The involvement of the PBA in a project may be structured in one of the following four ways:

  1. PBA can own and construct the project.
  2. The municipality may own the project and the PBA will construct the project pursuant to an operating agreement. Construction and professional contracts are then in the PBA’s name.
  3. The municipality can own the project and the PBA can oversee construction as an agent for the municipality. The construction and professional contracts are then in the municipality’s name.
  4. PBA may act as a consultant, advisor, and/or expert in completing studies, project plans, and similar activities pertaining to a particular enterprise.

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