Medical Arts Building (55)


603 Main Street

Designed by the architectural firm Manley & Young of Lexington, Kentucky, at the request of several Knoxville physicians, the Medical Arts Building was built by contractor Earl Worsham, who had his firm’s offices here after the building opened. Construction started in 1929 and cost $750,000. It was intended to be much larger, with two towers and three more stories, but the stock market crash reined it in.

Its modern equipment and outstanding facilities made it attractive to Knoxville’s leading physicians and dentists, as well as to firms as diverse as Hollywood Beauty Studio, the Insurance Service Co., and Johnson’s Flowers. Despite the fact that it was built at the onset of the Depression, its ornate brass elevator doors and marble interior details gave it a feeling of opulence. The exterior is concrete block clad with terra cotta files. The interior has marble and terrazzo floors, marble walls, and mahogany doors inlaid with walnut. Many of the offices have arched doors and vaulted ceilings. Uncharacteristically, it also once had its own bowling alley.

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