Category Archives: Architecture

The Parthenon in Nashville

One of the things that always stood out to me as impressive in Nashville was the exact replica of the Parthenon at Centennial Park across from Vanderbilt University.  I studied architecture in Nashville and History of Architecture was one of my favorite courses.

Ruins of the Parthenon on the Acropylis
Ruins of the Parthenon on the Acropolis
The Parthenon Replica in Nashville
The Parthenon Replica in Nashville

When we started on Greek Architecture, we had to learn many terms associated with the different parts and pieces such as tympanum, acroterium, sima, cornice, mutules, frieze, triglyph, metope, regula , gutta, taenia, architrave, capital, abacus, echinus, column, fluting, stylobate, entablature and pediment.  I remember sitting on the steps of this magnificent building and learning each part.

Exaggerated Sketch of How the Parthenon is Built
Exaggerated Sketch of How the Parthenon is Built

As with the original Parthenon, this replica is built so that it appears straight and square from a distance.  It is not built this way.  Their are actually very few straight lines in the actual construction and the Greeks were way ahead mathematically in how to properly design this optical illusion using entasis.

This was in the middle eighties and  the interior of the Parthenon was empty and I had only been inside once.  Since then, they have added the reproduction of the Athena Parthenos statue, that is the best guess (through research) of what the original statue looked like.  It was…….interesting.

Opryland Hotel

When I lived in Nashville 25 years ago, I often frequented the Opryland Hotel.  During the off season, it was quiet and soothing.  During the Holidays it becomes a Christmas delight decked out with lights, toy soldiers, poinsettias and every thing merry.  And lots of people.

It is one of the few things that has not changed in the long time I have been away except for the $21.00 (+ tax) parking fee.  For a few minutes I felt at home.

At over 4 million square feet, the hotel is the largest non-casino hotel in the Continental United States outside of Las Vegas.  It has 9 acres of lush indoor gardens and cascading waterfalls with  6 floors , 2,711 rooms and 171 suites.

Marriott Marquis – Atlanta, Georgia

Whenever we have visitors from out-of-town visiting who have never been to Atlanta we always take them to the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.  It is a 52-story, 554 feet hotel and it is the 14th tallest skyscraper in the city. The building was designed by Atlanta architect John C. Portman.

Looking at this building from the outside you would never guess what awaits you on the inside; its large atrium.  When I first saw this 30 years ago, I was in awe.  It was the largest atrium in the world upon its completion in 1985, at 470 feet high. The atrium spans the entire height of the building and consists of two vertical chambers divided by elevator shafts and bridges.

A ride to the top and a look down will give almost anyone vertigo with the way the shape and expanding floor draw you down.  It is a true masterpiece of Architecture and Beauty.

Annie Pfeiffer Chapel (Frank Lloyd Wright – Florida Southern College)

In 1938, work started on Annie Pfeiffer Chapel at Florida Southern College.  This was the first and the foremost Wright building on campus. Wright personally supervised the work which was done at least in part by students.

We discovered and actually played a Wooden Pipe Organ that was there, however, the organ did not have anything to do with Frank Lloyd Wright

I have several posts from our recent visit.

E.T. Roux Library (Frank Lloyd Wright – Florida Southern College)

The pace of construction at Florida Southern College slowed dramatically during the World War II years, 1941 – 1945.  The E. T. Roux Library was under construction during this period and finally opened in 1945.  It is now called the Thad Buckner Building and is used as a meeting and visitor center.

It has a very large collection of Wright designed furniture on Display.

One of many buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the campus he called Child of the Sun in Lakeland, Florida. I have several posts from our recent visit.

Lucius Pond Ordway Building (Frank Lloyd Wright – Florida Southern College)

The Lucius Pond Ordway Building  was originally designed as a student center and cafeteria. The building complex was completed in 1952 at a cost of $52,200, and has often been compared to Taliesin West. Wright felt this was one of his better designs because of its simplicity.

One of many buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the campus he called Child of the Sun in Lakeland, Florida.  I have several posts from our recent visit.

Polk County Science Building and Planetarium (Frank Lloyd Wright – Florida Southern College)

The Polk County Science Building was  completed 1958 on the Florida Southern Campus.  One of many buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the campus he called Child of the Sun in Lakeland, Florida.  I have several posts from our recent visit.

Usonian House (FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT – FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE)

The Usonian House at Florida Southern College was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939 as one of twenty faculty houses.  Construction, however, did not begin until 2011 and was completed in 2013.

The project was overseen by Albany, N.Y.-based architect and Wright devotee M. Jeffrey Baker using Wright’s original blueprints.

The Esplanades (FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT – FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE)

The Esplanades or Walkways on the Florida Southern Campus were built at various times between 1946 and 1958. These walkways connect the many buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the campus he called Child of the Sun in Lakeland, Florida. I have several posts from our recent visit.