Marr & Holman
Joseph Holman (1890–1952) and Thomas Marr (1866–1936).
Marr & Holman was an architectural firm in Nashville, TN best known for their traditional design. Notable buildings include the Nashville Post Office (now the Frist Museum of Art) and the Milliken Memorial Community House in Elkton, Kentucky. The firm was formed in 1913 by Joseph Holman and Thomas Marr. Many of their buildings are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The Frist Art Museum a significant architectural structure. Constructed from 1933 to 1934, the building was financed by monies appropriated by Congress during the Hoover administration. Following guidelines from the Office of the Supervising Architect Marr & Holman’s design follows the styles of the period: classicism and Art Deco. The spare, streamlined exterior—faced in white Georgia marble with grey-pink Minnesota granite—is an example of “stripped” classicism. The cast aluminium doors and grillwork, as well as coloured marble and stones on the floors and walls, follow the more decorative trend commonly known as Art Deco.
In 1998 the building’s ownership transferred to the City of Nashville for the purpose of creating the Frist Art Museum. The huge sorting rooms with high ceilings in the centre of the original facility were naturally suited to become spacious exhibition galleries. The former skylight in the centre of the building, previously closed and built over in the 1950s, had its function resurrected in the new design with the creation of clerestory windows to light the foyer and the new grand staircases.
© Alan John Ainsworth Photography