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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Ross Marble Quarry
Reference Number 14000086
State Tennessee
County Knox
Town Knoxville
Street Address ljams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name Marble Industry of East Tennessee, ca. 1838-1963
Status Listed 3/26/2014
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The Ross Marble Quarry is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places for local and statewide significance under Criterion A for its association with the East Tennessee Marble Industry during its greatest period of significance (1890-1940). As described in the Multiple Property Submission, "Marble Industry of East Tennessee, ca. 1838-1963," the marble industry was once an important sector of the regional economy. By the early 1850s, the varicolored marble quarried in East Tennessee began to be sought by architects and patrons for public buildings, such as state houses, court houses, and custom houses, after it was chosen for the interiors of the Tennessee State Capitol and the United States Capitol Extensions. The Ross Marble Quarry contributed to the second phase of industry growth, in which the modern marble industry developed primarily in the Knoxville area. The quarries developed by John M. Ross provided marble for two exemplary museum buildings: the Morgan Library (1906) and the National Gallery of Art (1941). Because the Ross Marble Quarry is situated within Ijams Nature Center, the quarry's integrity has been preserved, although the associated houses and office buildings have long been demolished. What remains of the industrial landscape includes a rock wall created from marble waste blocks, two intact pits that demonstrate bench quarrying techniques, historic road traces and railroad berms, the location of the former railroad bed, and scattered piles and stacks of marble blocks. This property meets the registration requirements set forth in the aforementioned multiple property submission.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria