Nashville April 20, 2017
10 Stunning Photos Of The Parthenon Construction In Nashville
The Parthenon in Nashville has become something have a cultural phenomenon. Folks travel for miles to walk through the ever-beautiful Centennial Park in the afternoons, or attend our Shakespeare Festival in the late summer. The Parthenon serves as the cherry on top – the crown of West End, per say. And we have the deets on how it all began…
Nashville's Parthenon was built in 1897 as a full-scale replica of the original, ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The precision of the replication may shock you -- there is not a single straight line in the architecture, no two columns are identically sized, no two steps are matching heights, and the floor is neither square nor level.
Its construction was to commemorate the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in what is now Nashville's Centennial Park. The Parthenon's design was chosen as the centerpiece of the Exposition to highlight Nashville's standing as the "Athens of the South."
While the exterior of the building was an original replica, the inside was not. The building's purpose at the exposition was to be the art pavilion for the fair, so the inside was arrayed with a series of galleries to display the paintings.
Originally a temporary construction, the current, permanent version was built in the 1920s at the cost of $1 million. While the original in Greece was built of marble, Nashville's is made from brick, stone, and concrete.
In order for the pediments to be as accurate as possible, casts of the original fragments, known as the Elgin Marbles, were purchased from the Victoria and Albert Museum so that the sculptors could recreate them.
The statue of Athena and the Ionic Frieze that surround the walls were proposed to be completed after the interior was recreated in 1931, but the Great Depression caused the project to be postponed indefinitely.
The statue of Athena housed in the Parthenon was built by Nashville local sculptor Alan LeQuire in 1990. Named "Athena Parthenos," the statue is 42-feet tall and is covered in gold leaf. Bonus fact: her spear is made out of a McDonald's flag pole.
Today, over 200,000 people visit the Parthenon every year (!!!!!).
Another interesting fact? The doors of the Parthenon are each one-foot thick and weigh 15,000 pounds.
What a beautiful, neat building. We're complete in awe of this Nashville icon, and beg the question: is it greater than the ever-popular AT&T building? We'd like to hear a resounding YES.
It’s a pretty neat story, wouldn’t you say? Explore a bit more of the city with
The 7 Most Beautiful Bike Trails You Can Take In Nashville.