Greetings from Alcoa, Tennessee!
The Home of Aluminum Foil 😂 and gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Alcoa is a city in Blount County, Tennessee, United States, south of Knoxville. Its population was 10,978 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Knoxville, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As its name suggests, Alcoa was the site of a large aluminum smelting plant owned and operated by the Alcoa corporation. Formerly known as North Maryville, the town was incorporated under its present name in 1919.
The Community of Alcoa, Tennessee
Early company town
Shortly after the Pittsburgh Reduction Company changed its name to the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) in 1907, the company began investigating the possibility of establishing a large smelting operation in East Tennessee.
The hydroelectric potential of the Little Tennessee River, which exits the mountains about 20 miles southwest of Alcoa, was one of the primary incentives, as the company’s aluminum smelting operation would require massive amounts of electricity.
In 1910, the company established a base camp at what is now known as Calderwood, initially known as “Alcoa”, and was known as such until the name was reapplied to the company’s operations in North Maryville a few years later.
The Great Depression and World War II
Early Alcoa was a classic “company town”, with the company maintaining a paternalistic relationship with the city.
The city’s welfare was almost wholly dependent upon the company’s fortunes. This presented a problem for the company, which feared that its workforce would leave to look for jobs elsewhere during times of low production.
Thus, during the Great Depression, the company maintained steady production levels in spite of the lack of demand for aluminum. Managers sought to cut workers’ hours— which at one point dropped to 30 hours per week— rather than slash jobs. By the end of the decade, the company had stockpiled 42,000 tons of aluminum.
After World War II, the city of Alcoa became less and less dependent upon its parent company. Alcoa’s public image had suffered due to its hardline stance toward labor unions, and in response, it launched a series of public relations initiatives, including the donation of land for schools, parks, and airport construction.
The company also desegregated its facilities during this period. In the early 1950s, the company began selling off company housing to employees.
In 1956, Ross Walker became the first city manager who was not employed by the company, and toward the end of the decade, the company had relinquished ownership of city utilities.
The completion of the Hall Road Viaduct in the 1940s and the continued development of McGhee Tyson Airport over subsequent decades led to commercial expansion and helped the city diversify its economy.
Alcoa, TN Real Estate Trends as of June 2022
Affordability of Living in Alcoa, TN
- The typical home value is $263,414
- Homes are typically worth $193/sqft
Average Home Value in Alcoa, TN, by Home Size
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Current Market Statistics
Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. © 2023
Listings in Alcoa, Tennessee
The city is situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the outermost of which, Chilhowee Mountain, rises just a few miles to the south.
Large sections of the north-central and northeastern parts of the range are visible from Alcoa Highway.
The Little River, which rises near the heart of the Smokies, flows through the eastern section of Alcoa before emptying into the Tennessee River near Louisville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.6 square miles, of which 14.7 square miles is land and 0.93 square miles, or 5.90%, is water.
Parks and Recreation
Alcoa’s early developers considered public parks an essential part of the city, and in the 1920s, Alcoa sought to set aside 1-acre of land for parks for every 100 people living in the city.
In the early 1930s, City Manager Hultquist used idle plant workers for park construction, and over the years, the company continued donating land for park construction and expansion.
In 1998, a 3-mile section of the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway was completed, connecting Alcoa’s Springbrook Park with Maryville’s Bicentennial Greenbelt Park.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Alcoa
Q. What is Alcoa TN famous for?
A. The city is a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which lies to the southeast. It was founded in 1913 by the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) on a tract of land known as North Maryville. In 1910 the first of a series of power dams was begun on the nearby Little Tennessee River and its tributaries.
Q. Is Alcoa Tennessee a nice place to live?
A. Alcoa is in Blount County and is one of the best places to live in Tennessee. Living in Alcoa offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. Many families live in Alcoa and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in Alcoa are highly rated.
Q. How far is Knoxville from Alcoa?
A. The total driving distance from Knoxville, TN to Alcoa, TN is 15 miles or 24 kilometers.
Get the lowdown at the City of Alcoa website.
There’s plenty to do there, check out this article, 10 Best Things to Do in Alcoa, TN — Top Activities & Places to Go!