Beautiful and Unusual

There was a time when mentioning the Knoxville, Tennessee neighborhood named “Vestal” caused people to associate the name with shabby housing, street crime, and abandoned industrial buildings. Today, the Vestal area is experiencing a change of heart, a transition, so to speak. It has been slow-going—but the Vestal area is benefiting from a heightened interest in the preservation of the historic Candoro Marble Company.

The annual festival entitled “VESTIVAL” is a wildly unique and imaginative celebration put on by musicians and artists. “VESTIVAL” raises awareness of the structure, which is an architectural and sculptural treasure trove. Placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1996, the building is unusual and beautiful. It was designed with the Beaux Arts influence, and yet it also has a Mediterranean-style carriage house. This is a chance for local residents to proudly showcase their progress on the main building. Visitors delight in the eclectic mix of musicians and artisans. All ages participate in activities that reflect the old-world ambiance of t he grounds—a maypole, drumming and string music, painting sessions…the list goes on.

The Candoro Marble building, in the height of its grandeur, was the site of a major employer that crafted and polished marble stonework used in several local and national structures. Though most of the outbuildings remain in ruins, people enjoy exploring the grounds, eating great food, and envisioning a bright future when Candoro Marble and the Vestal community are both restored to their former glory. View scenes of grounds and VESTIVAL in the photo gallery.

photo by Jay Baird

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