One of the greatest things about living in Nashville is its individuality and uniqueness. There The Nashville skyline is ever-changing, but these buildings will remain as the city grows and serve as great reminders of our past and present. These local structures made our list for their architecture, their history, or both.
AT&T Building – a.k.a. the “Batman Building”
The ubiquitous Batman Building starts off our list as it is the most noticeable in the Nashville skyline. The two spires at the top of this skyscraper mimic the silhouette of the famous DC superhero, giving the building its nickname. More people in Nashville call it the Batman Building than its actual name, the AT&T Building!
You visually cannot miss The Parthenon when driving on the west side of town. The building is an exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and was constructed in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. It now sits in the middle of Centennial Park and also houses a full-scale replica of the Athena Parthenos statue inside. This is the structure that gave way to Nashville’s nickname, “The Athens of the South.”
This 19th century church was remodeled to house the world famous Grand Ole Opry, the act that introduced many of country music’s most legendary stars. The Ryman is on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in making country music famous (which is now the tagline for the Opry). The Ryman Auditorium is probably the most interactive building on this list, as it still serves as one of Nashville’s most popular music venues and offers concerts from esteemed musicians and tours several times a week.
Tennessee State Capitol
Amidst all the skyscrapers in downtown Nashville lies a starkly contrasted green grass hill upon which the Tennessee State Capitol sits. This building and the neighboring Bicentennial Park are rich in Tennessee history. Climb up the steep steps and you’ll be treated to a grand view.
Belle Meade Plantation
This Greek-revival style mansion was once a plantation that now serves as a museum. It is a great destination, as the 30-acre grounds feature a winery and often hosts weddings. The rest of the grounds of the plantation (220 acres) was incorporated into what is now the township of Belle Meade in West Nashville.
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Music City & the home of country music wouldn’t be complete without our Hall of Fame, honoring country’s most famous stars and contributors. The architecture of this museum is truly a sight to behold, as it was constructed to emulate the look of a guitar. Since it’s so large, you might need to see it from far away to get the full effect.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage Mansion (or just The Hermitage) is a historical plantation-turned-museum just outside of Nashville. It once housed the seventh president of the United States and now serves as a museum honoring the presidential residence.
Marathon Motor Works
Marathon Motor Works was once an automobile factory and is now converted into a destination brimming with local shops and tourists. The building also is a small museum paying homage to the old cars and motors that were once assembled there. Marathon is extra famous for its housing of Antique Archaeology, and its frequent featuring on the History Channel show of the same name.
The Life & Casualty Tower
If you’ve looked at Nashville’s skyline at night, you’ve seen the red L&C lighted up at the top of the Life & Casualty Tower. This makes our list for its historical significance as Nashville’s first skyscraper, and the tallest building in Tennessee (until 1965). Fun fact: The L&C lights used to change color to reflect the weather.
One of our favorites. Union Station used to be just that – a train station terminal hailing incoming trains to Nashville. It has since been converted into the beautiful Union Station Hotel, now housing visitors and staycationers alike. This hotel on Upper Broadway is easy to spot for its beautiful architecture with a clock tower topped with a bronze statue of the Roman god Mercury.