Thursday, October 18, 2007
If you drive Interstate 40 through Nashville, you will undoubtedly pass a seemingly abandoned building (above) just west of downtown near the Charlotte Avenue Exit. The building, which had started its life as a cotton mill, became home to the Marathon Motor Works around 1910. Marathon was Nashville's only automobile plant. During the height of its operation, Marathon produced four or five different models, all touring cars. The plant ceased making cars in 1914, although it did continue producing parts for another four years. From what I could find out, of all the cars produced at the plant, there are fewer than 10 still in existence.
Since 1990 or so, the developer who bought the long-neglected building has been renovating it. Presently occupying the studios and spaces are a number of fine and commercial artists, a radio station, and Yazoo Brewing Company, Nashville's own microbrewery. In addition to the brewing company, Yazoo also operates a pub (very limited hours) on the property.
The 250,000 square-foot building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
(PS The Mini Cooper in the photo is not mine. . . .)