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.

Downtown Nashville

Going back home after 20 years was quite the experience.  I was very disappointed in the commercialization of Brentwood and Franklin.  Gone were the 2 lane country roads and farmland replaced by malls, hotels and restaurants.

Downtown Nashville has changed drastically also but, in my opinion, for the better.  The downtown area used to be an unwelcoming place full of peep shows and dives.  Nashville has gotten smart and embraced the Country Music and transformed the downtown area into a beautiful thriving tourist attraction.