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The UT Facilities Services Complex on Sutherland Avenue has received an East Tennessee Preservation Award.

The awards recognize outstanding individuals, organizations, and projects contributing to the protection of East Tennessee’s heritage. Awards are presented by the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.

UT’s Facilities Services Complex is an adaptive reuse of a 90,000-square-foot industrial facility that sits on a seven-acre parcel of land in Knoxville’s Marble City neighborhood.

Facilities Services historical photograph

Acquired by the university in 2013, the property was once a nationally recognized marble-processing plant, producing major stonework for buildings like the National Gallery of Art and the US Supreme Court Building.

Since the building’s 2016 renovation it has served as the headquarters and warehousing space for the Department of Facilities Services.

Features like riveted steel framing, hardwood planking, overhead cranes, and a silo were maintained in place or salvaged to enrich an expansive open office design. The exterior of the building, though reclad in energy-efficient sandwich panels, purposefully recalls the marble plant’s post-and-lintel design.

Historical photo of interior of marble processing plant

“Adapting a century-old building with deep historic ties to our university to serve a cutting-edge future was perfect for our team,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor of facilities services. “Like our new home, we also have a deep history of service to our university, and this facility allows us to embrace new cutting-edge support of UT’s mission.”

The project also has garnered awards from American School and University magazine and from the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance works to preserve the structures and places with historic or cultural significance in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties. ETPA partners with Knox Heritage to serve as the regional arm for preservation activities in middle East Tennessee.


Brooke Krempa (865-214-7662,