What to know about Chattanooga's St. Elmo community

Drive Time: Few communities are closer to downtown Chattanooga than St. Elmo. It's less than five miles - 10 minutes - to the Tennessee Aquarium from St. Elmo Park near West 49th Street.

Locator map: Boundaries are roughly, Georgia state line to the south, the train tracks across St. Elmo and Tennessee avenues to the north, Lookout Mountain to the west, and Hawkins Ridge to the East.

Curb appeal: The median selling price of homes in St. Elmo in 2021 was $165,000 according to the Greater Chattanooga Assocation of Realtors.

Breakfast: You might have to slip out of the St. Elmo neighborhood for breakfast but for

Lunch: The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe near the Incline Railway is a great source of local barbecue and specialty deli sandwiches made with fresh ingredients.

Dinner: 1885 Grill brings the flavor of the southern coast to St. Elmo with seafood, chops and steaks among the items on the menu.

Ribbon Cutters: Empyreal Brewery, self-described as a "nano-brewery" that brews exclusively for St. Elmo's The Tap House and Brew Garden on Riverside Drive, opened in 2021, offering tasty local products.

In the News:

- In June, a developer was given approval to build a home on a steep St. Elmo hillside, while the zoning panel nixed another proposed home next door.

- In January, bids were opened on a link from the Tennessee Riverwalk's South Broad trailhead to the heart of St. Elmo that will complete a path reaching all the way to the Chickamauga Dam and South Chickamauga Creek Greenway's western terminus.

- In March, plans were announced for a 180-unit apartment complex on St. Elmo Avenue.

Happy Place: The "Be Nice" mural on the side of the Mojo Burrito building at St. Elmo Avenue and Silvels Lane pays homage to the tight-knit community at the foot of Lookout Mountain.

Shop Talk: St. Elmo's shopping district is a lively collection of mostly local businesses ranging from restaurants, coffee houses and health care services to music studios, indoor climbing walls and art galleries all gathered primarily around the area of the Incline Railway's lower station on the north end of the community.

Livability score sheet: Most streets in historic St. Elmo have sidewalks, and the main drag of St. Elmo Avenue has sidewalks and bike lanes extending all the way to the Georgia state line.

A 3,800-foot extension of the Tennessee Riverwalk into St. Elmo is under construction to link the community to downtown and beyond.

Claim to fame: The one and only Incline Railway is a claim to fame not only for St. Elmo but the entire region and will mark its 127th year of operation in 2022, hauling passengers along a 72.7% grade about a mile from the foot of Lookout Mountain to the top, a short walk from Point Park.

Parks and Rec: Besides St. Elmo Park, a neighborhood sanctuary on St. Elmo Avenue, the community borders the 3,000-acre Chattanooga-Chickamauga Military National Park on Lookout Mountain, which is crisscrossed with 34 miles of trails. The Tennessee Riverwalk can be reached at the South Broad Street trailhead.

- South Chattanooga Recreation Center, 1151 W. 40th St.

- The center features a LEXIA Literacy Program, indoor pool, full-size gym, computer lab, arts center, community meeting room, athletic field and outdoor walking track.


- Chattanooga Christian School

Grades: pre-K through 12

Enrollment: 1,400+

Address: 3354 Charger Dr., Chattanooga, TN 37409

- Calvin Donaldson Elementary School

Grades: pre-K through fifth grade

Enrollment: 420

Address: 927 W. 37th St., Chattanooga, TN 37410

- Lookout Valley Middle-High

Grades: 6-12

Enrollment: 350

Address: 350 Lookout High St., Chattanooga, TN 37419

- Howard Connect

Grades: 6-8

Enrollment: 231

Address: 100 E. 25th St., Chattanooga, TN 37408

- The Howard School of Arts and Technology

Grades: 9-12

Enrollment: 1,212

Address: 2500 Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37408