Major Camp contracted some of the finest architects to design and work on the house. Alfred B. Mullet, the designer of Greystone, supervised the construction of the mansion, and a Philadelphia architect was paid by Camp to study European castles for ideas in the home.
Gustav Gade was a German stone mason that Camp had relocate to Knoxville to lay the stonework around the mansion. Every stone was personally cut and laid by Gade.
The granite used for Greystone came from Camp’s own quarries in Lake City. It was hauled to the building site by donkeys and mules.
The pink stone trim used around the outside of the windows was brought to Knoxville from North Carolina.
Five years later in 1890, Greystone was completed. The building itself was constructed at a cost of $125,000 in 1890.
The house originally had 21 rooms, stretched up three stories, and was built on 2.65 acres of land.
There were a total of over 150 windows throughout the house. Each was designed with 3 sections of white, mahogany shutters that folded into recesses. The top parts of the windows have stained glass with jewels.
In 1965, these jeweled sections were appraised at a value of $25,000.
The wood varied from room to room, using different types of domestic wood upstairs and imported wood downstairs to create a unique interior layout to the house. Each room contained the types of wood, as follows: Gold Room, Curley Maple; Library, Cherry; Main Hall and Stairway, Oak; Dining Room, English Oak; Upstairs Bedrooms, Blistered Birch; Billiard Room, Chestnut; Downstairs Bedrooms, Cherry; Hallway to Studio, Honduras Mahogany; Window Shutters, Mahogany.
The shutters and storm doors were all handmade. Ornamentation on the mantles and stair railings were carved directly into the wood.
The house was abundant in woodwork, but the wood was not polished. It was simply cleaned with soap and water.
Though the granite and wood were mostly domestic, Major Camp had the marble for the fireplaces imported. Almost every room came with a marble fireplace, and there were 22 different varieties of marble in the house.
The dinning room originally had two fireplaces. European styles were added to the fireplaces by carving ghouls and devils into the mantles.
After Major Camp passed away, family members ran the estate until 1935 when its large size became too difficult to maintain. The family partitioned the house into apartments and auctioned off some of the furniture.
Most of the China and silver and some of the furnishings were preserved by the family.
Tenants painted over the original wood mantles, paneling, and trims. The house remained this way until it was sold to WATE-TV 6.