Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nashville's Downtown Walking Tour...

This provides a list of some downtown attractions but is not a list of all things to do in Nashville. This will provide a springboard into Nashville and wet the appetite to learn more.

Nashville Public Library: Downtown
This is a Robert Stern Project and one of the finest libraries in the country. Be sure to see the Nashville Room, the Civil Rights Room, Nashville Banner Archives and the library's courtyard. Inside the library there is also Provence Breads and Cafe to stop in for a nice lunch.

Downtown Presbyterian Church
Built in the Egyptian Revival architectural style and it is the oldest church in Nashville. During the Civil War it was used as a hospital. When standing at the front of the church go down 5th Avenue to the side entrance and they will let you in to enjoy a self guided tour of the church. Designed by William Strickland an architect from Philadelphia, who also designed the Tennessee State Capitol.

The Arcade
Inspired by a similar structure in Italy, the Arcade was in 1900 and was one of the first indoor shopping areas in the United States. Go for the architecture and the unique restaurants and shops.

Ryman Auditorium
Home of the Grand Ole Opry until 1974 and voted the best theatre in the United States the last two years. The tour is informative and strongly recommended.

Country Music Hall of Fame
A fun, interesting and interactive museum for music lovers. The name doesn't let you know that they have a lot of bluegrass, Americana and roots music covered in the exhibits.

Honky-Tonks on Broadway (between 4th & 5th Ave.)
Legendary bars that offer great music from around 10am to 3am. Robert's Western World has been named one of the 10 best bars in the United States and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge is a legend built upon years of having the legends visit the bar. There is a place for all taste on Lower Broadway.

Hatch Show Print
One of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the United Shops. It was built in 1879 and has made posters for all kinds of concerts, companies and events.

Pedestrian Bridge
Providing a wonderful view of the city and it is also a popular place for walkers and bikers. It connects downtown Nashville to the eastern side of the city and LP Field, where the Tennessee Titans play.

Tennessee State Capitol Building
Designed by William Strickland, from Philadelphia, and completed in 1859. Mr. Strickland died before completion and was buried within the walls. It is the only capitol with the ability to make a claim like that. A truly grand building that is worthy of being the capitol of the state. Tours of the building are available.

Tennessee Bicentennial State Mall
Tour Tennessee's history in an interesting interactive and informative mall that is similar to the National Mall in Washington D.C. while being uniquely Nashville.

Nashville Symphony Hall
Ground was broken for construction of the center on December 3, 2003. The hall has approximately 1,900 seats and is the current home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
The center is named in honor of Kenneth Schermerhorn who was the music director and conductor of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra from 1983 until his death in 2005. The center was named before his death.
At the center of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is the approximately 1900-seat Laura Turner Concert Hall. Modeled after the "shoebox" design of storied concert halls such as the Concertgbow in Amsterdam and the Musikverein in Vienna, the Hall is one of only a few such venues in the world to feature natural lighting, which streams in through 30 soundproof, double-paned windows that ring the its upper walls. Intricate symbolic motifs appear throughout the Hall and the rest of the Center, including irises (the Tennessee state flower), horsehoes (a tribute to the late Laura Turner's love of horses) and coffee beans (representing Nashville's Cheek family of Maxwell House fame). Tours of the building are available daily.

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