Knoxville: The Marble City

Mar, 13 15 Post by: Amy

Photo: CandoroMarble.Org Facebook page

Did you know East Tennessee used to be the largest supplier of Marble in the world? A century ago Knoxville was referred to as “The Marble City.”

The Candoro Marble Company needed a showroom for their offerings, as well as a place to cut and polish the marble, so they built a beautiful building designed by none other than Knoxville’s own Charles Barber.

Charles Barber designed a number of notable buildings throughout the Knoxville area during the first half of the 20th century. Barber McMurry, an architectural firm co-founded by Charles Barber in 1915, still operates in Knoxville today.

Candoro Marble Work’s European design brings an old-work feel to this rough-and-tumble area of Knoxville known as Vestal. It is a beautiful building with carved ornamental marble by sculptor Albert Milani and ornamental iron work by Samuel Yellin.

Candoro Marble Works was in operation for about 50 years and was the largest producer of pink marble in the United States. In 1996 the main structure and other buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places. The South Knox Arts and Heritage Center gained site control in 2002 and in 2005 the name was changed to Candoro Arts & Heritage Center. Today it serves as a hub for the South Knoxville neighborhood of Vestal.

In true keeping with this cool eclectic part of town, they have fun fundraisers (you can check out current events on their facebook page). They are revitalizing the Vestal area with fun events like the 2015 Vestival. Vestival will be held Saturday, May 9, at 11:00 am and promises to be a great event. Check it out here. The money raised will fund the rehabilitation of the Candoro Marble Building set to begin in June 2015. Please help a good cause and have fun too by coming out to the Vestival!


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