Local Landmarks and the Georgia Marble Company
The Georgia Marble Company supplied the marble for landmark structures around the country, including several in the Atlanta metro area.
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 15, 2021) — This blog post was guest written by KSU Archives Intern Traton Miller. Traton is a KSU senior majoring in History and assisted with the processing of the Georgia Marble Company Records as part of her internship.
The use of marble has a long and rich history dating back thousands of years. Marble (metamorphosed limestone) was the preferred medium for Roman and Greek architecture. The use of marble in the geographic area that is now Georgia dates to 1400 when Native Americans used local marble to construct projectile points, bowls, and effigies. It was not until the 1830s that North Georgia's rich marble deposits started being mined on a larger scale. As interest in Georgia marble increased throughout the next few decades, businessmen Henry C. Clement, Frank H. Sidall, O.F. Bane, and Samuel Tate established the Georgia Marble Company in 1884.
In the 1930s, the Georgia Marble company helped fuel the "marble boom" which occurred across the United States. Thanks to the Georgia Marble Company, Georgia Marble was featured in buildings nationwide, from the New York Stock Exchange to the Puerto Rican Capitol. Georgia Marble Company marble was also featured closer to home and in places familiar to native Georgians. The Little Five Points Theater was built c. 1939 with a façade composed of White Georgia Marble. Today,the Little Five Points Theater still stands on Euclid Avenue and is known as 7 Stages Theatre.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building also features material from the Georgia Marble Company. The MLK Jr. Building was originally a United States post office constructed in 1933 and made entirely of Georgia marble. In 1988, it became the first building in the country named in honor of the civil rights leader. Emory University houses another prominent display of Georgia Marble. The University’s original dining hall featured White Georgia Marble and Creole Trim Marble. Today the building remains much the same and serves as the Alumni Memorial University Center.
The Georgia Marble Company Records are held by the Kennesaw State University Archives and Special Collections. Photographs, reports, and other documents from this collection are available online through KSU’s Scholarly Online Access Repository. Check out the Georgia Marble Company Records on SOAR to discover more Georgia buildings and national landmarks that you might recognize.
Emory University. “Alumni Memorial University Center (AMUC).” Accessed July 5, 2021. http://filming.emory.edu/Locations/mc_amuc.html
Traditional Building. “Restoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building.” Accessed July 5, 2021. https://www.traditionalbuilding.com/projects/civil-service
Butler, Mimi Jo. New Georgia Encyclopedia. “Marble.” Accessed July 5, 2021. https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/business-economy/marble