Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The Nashville Parthenon

Marker ID:  
Location: 2600 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 8.97    W 086° 48.798
  36.1495    -86.8133
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


The Nashville Parthenon was built on this site as the centerpiece of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition of 1897. The original full-scale replica was intended as a temporary exhibit structure and was constructed of brick, wood and plaster. The building quickly endeared itself to all Nashvillians who protested plans for the building's demolition at the close of the Centennial Celebration. The original building stood until 1921 at which time the City of Nashville began the reconstruction of the worn structure—this time with permanent materials. This building, the result of those efforts, was completed in 1931.

The Parthenon was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972.

In 1987 the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation undertook the rehabilitation of the interior of the Parthenon. The improvements include upgraded gallery space, a ground-level entrance and an elevator resulting in barrier-free accessibility to the entire facility for the first time.

As in 1897 and 1931, these improvements, completed in 1988, are a gift of the people of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County and serve as a reminder of Nashville's longstanding reputation as the Athens of the South.

1897 - Colonel W.C. Smith
1921 - Russell Hart
1987 - Gresham, Smith and Partners

1897 - Edward Laurent
1921 - Foster and Creighton Company
1987 - Alexander and Shankle Construction Company