See Rock City

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tennessee State Capitol

The Tennessee State Capitol, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is the home of the Tennessee legislature, the location of the governor's office, and a National Historic Landmark. Designed by architect William Strickland, it is one of Nashville's most prominent examples of Greek Revival architecture. It is one of only eleven state capitols (along with those of Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Alaska and Virginia) that does not have a dome.

Design and Construction

Tennessee State Capitol during the Civil War

The State Capitol was designed by renowned Philadelphia architect William Strickland, who modeled it after a Greek Ionic temple. The lantern is a copy of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1845 and the building was completed fourteen years later in 1859.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has listed the building as a civil engineering landmark in recognition of its innovative construction, which made unusually extensive use of stone and was an early example of the use of structural iron. Both the interior and exterior are built with limestone from a quarry about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the site. Some interior columns were built from single pieces of stone, requiring massive wooden derricks to hoist them into place. Wrought iron, instead of wood, was used for the roof trusses to reduce the building's vulnerability to fire.

Strickland died five years before the building's completion and was entombed in its northeast wall. His son, F. W. Strickland, supervised completion of the structure. William Strickland also designed the Egyptian Revival style Downtown Presbyterian Church, formerly known as First Presbyterian Church, Nashville.

Samuel Dold Morgan (1798–1880), chairman of the State Building Commission overseeing the construction of the Tennessee State Capitol, is entombed in the southeast corner near the south entrance.


Monuments on the Capitol grounds include statues of two of the three Tennessee residents who served as President of the United States: Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The second President from Tennessee, James K. Polk, is buried in a tomb on the grounds, together with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk. Other monuments on the grounds include the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission Memorial, the Sam Davis Memorial at the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds, the Sen. Edward Ward Carmack Memorial located above the Motlow Tunnel near the south entrance, and the Memorial to Africans during the Middle Passage at the southwest corner of Capitol grounds. The Charles Warterfield Reliquary is a group of broken limestone columns and fragments removed and saved from the State Capitol during the mid-1950's restoration, located near the northern belvedere on Capitol Drive.

Inside the House Chamber from the viewing gallery

Inside the House Chamber as seen from the floor

Andrew Jackson Statue located on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol

Night time view of the Capitol

External links

Tennessee State Museum - State Capitol information

Tenneessee Legislature Website

Source: Internet