Sanford, Chamberlain & Albers Building (21)

430 South Gay Street

The renovated building is known today as Tailor Lofts because a series of immigrant tailors occupied the second floor for several decades. However, when the building was built in 1872, it served a partnership of three Union veterans, among them Andrew Johnson Albers, the pharmacist some of a German immigrant who survived the Confederacy’s notorious Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. While located in this building, the original owner, Sanford, Chamberlain & Albers Company, rose to prominence in Knoxville’s post-Civil War boom. Its beginnings as a prominent pharmaceutical company met with early success and it became one of the region’s leading pharmaceutical companies. This structure was the one building on its block that survived the ruinous Million Dollar Fire of 1897. Although a large building by 1870s standards, it was dwarfed by the wholesale houses built around it after 1897. A 1920s façade remodel makes the front of it look like a 1920s building, but the building’s length along Union Avenue still reveals its 19th century design.

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