Monday, May 14, 2012
A Visit to The Parthenon -- in Nashville, TN!
During our visit to Nashville, TN, we heard about the Parthenon recreation that is near the downtown area. Rick was skeptical that this would be worthy of a visit, but Orinda was enthusiastic, so we took a look. WOW! Rick was wrong on this one. As you can see, this is an exact copy of the famous Greek Parthenon in full scale.
Here, you can get an idea as to the scale of this building -- it is huge at 65' high and 238' long. There are 46 huge columns supporting the structure and the bronze doors entering the interior weigh 7.5 tons each. We were just about ready to enter the lower story museum area when several school bus loads of excited middle school students pulled up and they charged in. We decided to content ourselves with a calm outside tour!
We learned that Nashville was considered the Athens of the south back in the day and as a result, when the Tennessee Exposition of 1897 celebrating 100 years of statehood was scheduled, a recreation of the Parthenon was to be the centerpiece. The first iteration was built of plaster and lathe, but had to be dismantled due to wear. Then, in 1921, this full scale reproduction was begun using permanent materials. Finished in 1931, this remains a very impressive structure.
One major reason why the Parthenon exists in the park is this man, John W. Thomas. President of the 1897 Exposition as well as a local railway, he provided the guidance for the creation of the Centennial park where the Parthenon is located.
Here, Rick takes a break while sitting on the memorial bench for John Thomas. This sculpture, located right next to the Parthenon, is a beautiful monument.