The rock that made East Tennessee famous was the basis of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Susan Knowles, a digital humanities research fellow at the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, first aired July 26 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.
You can hear their conversation via the SoundCloud link below.
Knowles wrote her doctoral dissertation on Tennessee marble in civic architecture. The pinkish-gray limestone, which is referred to as marble although geologists do not classify it as such, is found mostly in Knox, Blount, Union, Loudon and Hawkins counties.
Noted for how easy it is to polish, the highly popular marble has been used in the construction of numerous public buildings, including Grand Central Terminal in New York City; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; and the columns and balustrades of the House and Senate gallery staircases and marble walls in the U.S. Capitol.
“The rise in luxury building like we see all over Tennessee right now does mean there’s a demand,” Knowles said. “You have these fancier floors, counters, bathrooms … I think there’s a big market (for it), and there’s been a lot of recognition and awareness.”
Knowles’ research was highlighted in “Rock of Ages: East Tennessee’s Marble Industry,” which was displayed at the Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville from November 2016 to May 2017.
For more on the exhibit and to see Knowles in the videos “Rock of Ages: Working East Tennessee Marble” and “Rock of Ages: East Tennessee Marble’s Legacy,” visit www.easttnhistory.org/RockofAges.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.