Built in 1908, The Candy Factory produced five to ten tons of candy daily which was shipped by train to every state east of the Mississippi River. The Candy Factory was closed in 1918. The building saw many other uses over the next century. At the beginning of the 21st century the owners, the Merchant family, gifted the building to the City of Manassas with the stipulation that it be restored as the future home to the Center for the Arts. The building was successfully renovated and brings the arts to over 15,000 visitors annually.
The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County sponsors theatrical productions for children and adults, teaches arts classes, promotes visual arts and provides community outreach programs for local youth. Founded in 1984 by a group of artists and art lovers, the Center aims to enrich the quality of life in the Northern Virginia suburbs through arts performance and education. A theater, an art gallery and classrooms are located in the historic Candy Factory building in Old Town Manassas, at 9419 Battle Street.