The Emporium Center is Knoxville’s first true arts center, which re-opened following renovations during the summer of 2004. The 28,000 square feet of flexible use space houses multiple art galleries showcasing local and regional artists, the administrative offices of the Arts & Culture Alliance, and offices for seven other arts and cultural organizations. Additionally, the building houses studio for ten individual artists and rehearsal, classroom and meeting space.
Built in 1898 as the original home of a prestigious furniture company, the Emporium Building housed a wholesale goods distributor and later became a textile manufacturing facility that fulfilled military contracts. The two adjacent buildings and the vacant lot were the location of the “Parthenon of Country Music,” which served as the home of the WNOX Mid-day Merry-Go-Round.
Click the image to view a brief article about the “Furniture Emporium of the Sterchi Brothers” from a book published in 1891 (image courtesy of East Tennessee Historical Society).