Nashville Marathon Motorworks

Marathon Motor Works



I recently had opportunity to photograph the Marathon Motor Works  in Nashville, Tennessee. A friend suggested the factory might make a good location for an Instagram photo walk. He was right.


The plant is a feast for photographers. Red bricks form the bones of the structure. A rusting water tower oversees the complex. Inside, the building has recently been undergoing a renaissance as new businesses are taking up residence in the old manufacturing plant.


We met about an hour before sundown and visited and walked around the plant campus, photographing as we went. If it caught our eye, we would stop and snap a few shots. I was particularly drawn to the old brickwork.


If you enjoy photographing urban decay and live near Nashville, I recommend checking out this unique site tied to some interesting history.


The Marathon Motor Works in Nashville is a spectacular, though short-lived, example of new industry in Tennessee in the early 1900s. It grew out of an earlier company called Southern Engine and Boiler Works founded in 1889 which made industrial engines and boilers in Jackson, Tennessee. The firm had metal-working and power plant experience which could easily be transferred into the then-new and rapidly expanding automobile industry.  From 1907 to 1914, the company manufactured the Marathon automobile.


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