Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Capitol of Tennessee

Tuesday was a fun-filled day of showing off our hometown to Diana and Tony.  They have been here before and seen some of the major attractions in town, so we concentrated on the capitol building, Bicentennial Mall State Park, and the downtown and Vanderbilt areas.

We got started about mid-morning and after making our way downtown we parked the car at Bicentennial Mall and walked up the hill to the state capitol.  Before going inside, we walked around the grounds stopping at the tomb of President James K. Polk and the statues of Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson.  Since the capitol is located on top of a hill, we had superb views of the immediate vicinity, which, of course, is primarily state office buildings.  Among the state office buildings is the main branch of Nashville Public Library, the War Memorial Building, and the State Library and Archives.
Andrew Johnson

Unfortunately, by the time we finally went inside, we had missed the last tour before lunch. We didn’t want to wait around until 1 PM for the next guided tour, so we grabbed a brochure and guided ourselves.  The State Legislature is not in session at this time so we were able to step into the House and Senate chambers.  A wrought iron spiral staircase was the prominent feature of the Capitol Library.
Old Supreme Court
House Chamber
Senate Chamber

The building is done in the Greek Revival style and was completed in 1859.  During the Civil War, the Union forces occupied Nashville and transformed the capitol into "Fortress Andrew Johnson."  During the mid-1950s the building underwent some repairs.  Because of deterioration, some of the original columns were replaced.  Pieces of the old columns are displayed on the grounds.

This capitol is one of only a few capitols which doesn’t have a dome.  Instead, its crowning glory is a central tower.
Inside under the center tower

After our tour of the capitol, we ate our picnic lunch at Bicentennial Mall State Park.  This park was established and dedicated in 1996 in honor of the 200th Anniversary of Tennessee becoming a state.  The 19-acre park is down the hill and across the street from the capitol.  The park is unique in that it is really a history and geography lesson on the state.
Decade markers
The wall opposite the decade markers tells the history during that decade.

We finished our tour of the town by driving over to the Vanderbilt University area.  Our first stop was at Starbucks.  With coffee in hand we drove up and down and all around with Gene as our private and very informative tour guide.

We got home in time to rest a little before sharing our evening meal together and then ending our day watching our favorite TV programs--NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles.

Tony and Diana had originally planned to leave today, but we weren’t done talking yet.  They’ve extended their stay until tomorrow.  Wonder if we’ll be ready to let them go by then?

That’s all for today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. hang on tight to your friends!..and enjoy the time together!!

  2. Judy and I just love the BiCentennial Park. We discovered during our first pass through Nashville in 2004. Just fabulous. Never been to the State Capitol, we'll need to put that on our bucket list.

    Hang on, we're heading north on Monday and expect to be at COL by 4:00. See ya soon.