Candoro Marble Works

“The Candoro Marble Company of Knoxville Tennessee has provided for their office and garage marble structures which were conceived with the idea of demonstrating the proper and most effective use of the material which they manufacture.”

National Builder Magazine, 1924

Around the time BarberMcMurry was founded, Knoxville was known as the Marble City.

East Tennessee marble — which often has a distinctive pink tint — was used in some of America’s most iconic buildings, including Grand Central Station, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Gallery of Art. In Knoxville, the marble was notably used at the Knoxville Museum of Art, East Tennessee History Center, the downtown U.S. Post Office, Ijams Nature Center, and Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.

In 1922, BarberMcMurry designed an office and showroom for local marble producer Candoro Marble Company in the Beaux-Arts style.

From the front, the showroom appears stately with its marble facade of rectangular blocks. A small penthouse roof rises from the center of the building, while to the side is an arcaded Spanish Colonial-style carport, which features a tiled roof and stucco and marble walls. Throughout the building, the walls and floors are marble or marble veneer in different patterns and colors — intended to demonstrate the varied ways of using East Tennessee marble. 

Samuel Yellin, a leader of the American Arts and Crafts movement, fabricated the ironwork. Albert Milani, a master sculptor from Carrara, Italy, and longtime carver at Candoro, carved the exterior ornamentation. The ceiling fresco was painted by Hugh Tyler, who also completed work for BarberMcMurry at Hoskins Library and Church Street United Methodist Church. 

Candoro closed in 1982, and the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. In 2000, community volunteers established the Candoro Arts & Heritage Center, and with the help of the Aslan Foundation, stabilized the vacant building. 

Today, Candoro Marble Works is an artist studio, gallery and event venue.

Completion Date: 1923

Type: New Construction

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Services: Architecture, Interior Design

Use: Commercial / Office

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