Tennessee State Capitol

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Tennessee State Capitol
Tennessee State Capitol 2009.jpg
Tennessee State Capitol
Tennessee State Capitol is located in Tennessee
Tennessee State Capitol
Location Capitol Hill
Nashville, Tennessee
Coordinates 36°9′57″N 86°47′3″W / 36.16583°N 86.78417°W / 36.16583; -86.78417Coordinates: 36°9′57″N 86°47′3″W / 36.16583°N 86.78417°W / 36.16583; -86.78417
Area 4.9 acres (2.0 ha)
Built 1845-1859
Architect William Strickland
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body State of Tennessee
NRHP Reference # 70000894
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 8, 1970; 44 years ago (July 8, 1970)[1]
Designated NHL November 11, 1971; 43 years ago (November 11, 1971)[2]

The Tennessee State Capitol, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is the home of the Tennessee legislature, the location of the governor's office, and a National Historic Landmark. Designed by architect William Strickland, it is one of Nashville's most prominent examples of Greek Revival architecture. It is one of only ten state capitols (along with those of Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Virginia) that does not have a dome.

Design and construction[edit]

Tennessee State Capitol during the Civil War

The State Capitol was designed by renowned Philadelphia architect William Strickland, who modeled it after a Greek Ionic temple. The lantern is a copy of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1845 and the building was completed fourteen years later in 1859.[3]

The American Society of Civil Engineers has listed the building as a civil engineering landmark in recognition of its innovative construction, which made unusually extensive use of stone and was an early example of the use of structural iron. Both the interior and exterior are built with limestone from a quarry about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the site. Some interior columns were built from single pieces of stone, requiring massive wooden derricks to hoist them into place. Wrought iron, instead of wood, was used for the roof trusses to reduce the building's vulnerability to fire.[4] Slave and convict labor was used in the construction of this historic site.

Strickland died five years before the building's completion and was entombed in its northeast wall. His son, F. W. Strickland, supervised completion of the structure. William Strickland also designed the Egyptian Revival style Downtown Presbyterian Church, formerly known as First Presbyterian Church, Nashville.

Samuel Dold Morgan (1798–1880), chairman of the State Building Commission overseeing the construction of the Tennessee State Capitol, is entombed in the southeast corner near the south entrance.

Monuments[edit]

Monuments on the Capitol grounds include statues of two of the three Tennessee residents who served as President of the United States: Andrew Jackson by Clark Mills and Andrew Johnson by Jim Gray. The second President from Tennessee, James K. Polk, is buried in a tomb on the grounds, together with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk. Other monuments on the grounds include the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial by Felix de Weldon, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission Memorial, the Sam Davis Memorial at the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds, the Sen. Edward Ward Carmack Memorial located above the Motlow Tunnel near the south entrance, and the Memorial to Africans during the Middle Passage at the southwest corner of Capitol grounds. The Charles Warterfield Reliquary is a group of broken limestone columns and fragments removed and saved from the State Capitol during the mid-1950s restoration, located near the northern belvedere on Capitol Drive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Tennessee State Capitol". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  3. ^ The Tennessee State Capitol: A Self-Guided Walking Tour. Tennessee State Museum. 2009. 
  4. ^ Tennessee State Capitol, History & Heritage of Civil Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers website

External links[edit]