The Parthenon proudly stands as the focal point of Centennial Park, Nashville's greatest urban park. The replica of Athena's 42-foot statue is the centerpiece of the Parthenon, precisely as it was in ancient Greece. Both the structure and the Athena statue are exact reproductions of the Athenian originals.
Construction on the Parthenon began in 1957 under the direction of Greek architect Kallimachos (1898-1965). The original plan was to build a United States museum on the site but funding never materialized. In 1972, the city of Nashville purchased the building for $1 million ($6.5 million in 2007 dollars). Today, it is considered one of the premier museums devoted to American art.
The original design of the Parthenon called for it to be built out of marble, but due to budget constraints, a concrete replica was constructed instead. The original plan also included a museum dedicated to American art, but again due to financial issues this portion of the project was canceled. Instead, the city plans to use funds from sales of artwork within the facility.
Centennial Park is a large public space located in downtown Nashville between 3rd Avenue North and 5th Avenue North. It was designed by John Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., sons of the famous father/son team that also designed New York City's Central Park.
The Parthenon at Nashville's Centennial Park is a full-scale copy of the real Parthenon in Athens... The Parthenon (Nashville)
|Built||1897 (original structure) 1925–1931 (permanent version)|
|Architect||William Crawford Smith|
|NRHP reference No.||72001236|
The Acropolis of Athens The Parthenon, which was built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centenary Exposition, has a full-scale reproduction of the ancient statue of Athena. In addition to the magnificent monument, the building holds sculptures and paintings by American artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors over 65, $5 for students under 18, and free for children under 12. Parking costs $5.
The Parthenon is located on Nashville's campus of Vanderbilt University at 4700 Linden Lane. It can be reached by taking Campus Drive north out of town and following the signs.
This reproduction of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was first erected for Tennessee's Centennial Exposition in 1897 and now serves as a tribute to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The Parthenon is also Nashville's art museum.
The original Parthenon was built 447-432 B.C. by the Athenian democracy as a gift for the goddess Athena. It was constructed out of gold and silver mined from the soil of Sicyonia, an island south of Attica (where Athens is located). The gift was in exchange for saving Athens during a siege by the Spartans. The sculpture itself is thought to be a replica of the Elgin Marbles, which were removed from the Acropolis in 1811 and are now housed in London's British Museum.
The Nashville Parthenon was built using local materials by Greek craftsmen under the supervision of a professor of architecture at the University of Nashville. The exterior is made of marble from Carrara, Italy while the interior is covered in gilt plaster with some wood paneling added for effect. The roof is made of copper.
After the Exposition closed, the Parthenon was moved to Nashville City Park where it remains today. In 1975, it became a National Historic Landmark.
Nashville's Parthenon, the world's only full-scale replica of the famed Greek temple, is in Centennial Park and showcases both the city's art and architecture. Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults pay $6, seniors (62+), youths (4–17), and children 3 and under pay $4. Guided tours are available for an additional fee.
The original Parthenon was built 447-432 B.C. by the Athenian empire on the site where Athens' old town used to stand. It was burned down by the Romans in 79 A.D., but it was rebuilt within a few years. In 1687, the British army destroyed the Parthenon again during the Battle of Athens. They took its stones back to London and used them to build St. Paul's Cathedral. Today, only the foundation walls of the original building remain.
In 1842, American architect John Russell Pope created a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Nashville. He based his design on drawings by English architect Richard Westinghouse Esq. The original plaster model for this sculpture museum is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
The replica features 175 feet of marble columns with gilded capitals and a total weight of about 20 million pounds. It takes more than 1,000 people five days to complete one shift working eight hours a day, five days a week. The estimated price is $3 million.
The Parthenon's West pediment in Nashville has a life-size sculpture representing a historic conflict between Athena and Poseidon, who are competing for the honor of being Athens' patron deity. The scene on the pediment is based on an ancient bronze statue called the Nike of Pheidias. This famous work by the Greek sculptor Pheidias is now in the British Museum in London.
Athena (the goddess of wisdom and war) is standing on the back of a giant turtle (which represents Earth). She is holding her spear and olive tree in her right hand and giving the victory sign with her left hand. Below Athena is a river bed with a pine tree on it. This is meant to represent the River Asopus near Athens. In the middle distance you can see the sea coast with some ships sailing by.
Poseidon (the god of the ocean) is sitting inside a large shell with his trident lying next to him. He too is giving the victory sign with one hand while holding the other over his head in a gesture of triumph. Below Poseidon is a wave line that reaches all the way up to the bottom of the pediment. This is meant to represent the entire Mediterranean Sea.
Both Athena and Poseidon were important gods in ancient Greece.