Great medium sized zoo with animals in natural habitats for strolling through with the kids. Awesome playground for the kids! The zoo grounds were donated to Nashville by two sisters. The original home and farm tour is included with your zoo admission - go past the merry-go-round to get to it.
Admission: $13 adult / $8 child.
Open: 9am Daily except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, & New Year's Day.
This is a nice theater ran by REGAL..if you a member you can earn points for free movies, food and drinks. I enjoy going to this theater.
Josh and I went to the theater feb 2011 to watch the Green Hornet, we both enjoyed the movie.
It has stadium seating and very clean.
A must for the movie buffs!!!
the nashville visitor center is a good first stop on a visit to nashville. at the visitor center you can get information on nashville's historic attractions, music, hotels, restaurants, and bars. the nashville visitors center is located at the corner of 4 th ave. n. & broadway across the street from the convention center.
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate which is currently hosting an exhibition by world reknown glass artist Dale Chihuly. Splendidly displayed within the various gardens and inside the mansion, the works of art feel very organic to the surroundings. We had a wonderful time, and plan to go back to see the exhibition at night (on Wed, Thurs, & Fri nights).
Adult admission during this special engagement is $15, which includes admission to the gardens and the mansion.
Small (approx 130 seats) regional theatre located inside the former West Nashville Presbyterian Church. So small, in fact, that to access the restrooms, you must walk across the stage (you are warned!) I love these old regional theatres - very intimate, and they make creative use of the space they have. A group of us went to see the recent Act 1 production of "The Imaginary Invalid", and we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt afterwards! Several companies play here, so be sure to check out the website for the current offerings.
Budget friendly, most tickets are $15 or LESS! A bargain, considering the wonderful talent on display here.
Adjacent to and below the steps leading to the Capitol Building is the Greek-Revival War Memorial Building. Built between 1923 and 1925, it was originally dedicated to honor 3,400 Tennessee soldiers who had lost their lives fighting in WWI. Since then, the courtyards surrounding the building have been devoted to war memorials for WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and for other heroic struggles as well.
Besides the long list of names chiseled into the wall, the War Memorial Building is distinctive architecturally.
One politician with authentic ties to President Andrew Jackson was James K. Polk, a very successful one-term president--the 11th president of the USA. Polk was a "dark horse" candidate who campaigned on a get tough platform that included fighting Britain for command of the Oregon Territory and with Mexico over command of Texas, California, and the rest of what is now the western USA. Polk won the presidency, bargained with Britain to avoid war, let Texas into the union, and then fought a brief and decisive territorial war with Mexico for massive expansion of US territory. Naturally, the war was both unethical and devastating to Mexico as US marines entered Mexico City to force terms of surrender upon the government there. Popular as the Mexican War was among the frontier voters, it became the basis for Henry David Thoreau's classic protest paper, "Civil Disobedience". Polk was personally a rather strange, humorless fellow, the youngest president to serve at the time, and a hard worker who chose to serve just one term. He died young soon after leaving office, and was buried with his wife on the Tennessee Capitol Hill, not far from Jackson's statue, in an elaborate stone memorial designed by capitol building architect, William Strickland. This is the oldest presidential memorial on the hill.
Also nearby, under the shade of a lovely magnolia tree, is a bronze standing statue of Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the USA, and the only president other than Bill Clinton to become "impeached", though during a much more turbulent time. Vice-President under Lincoln during the Civil War, he became president after Lincoln's assassination, during the period of "Reconstruction" when Tennessee was rather quickly "readmitted" to the Union. Though, clearly a southern state, Tennessee's decision to join the southern cause was complicated by some what diverging economic and demographic patterns, particularly within the mountainous eastern side of the state. Militarily, Tennessee figured as an important battleground during the war, but one more easily captured by Union forces. Thus, Tennessee was the last state to "succeed" from and the first to be "readmitted" to the Union.
In addition to being vice-president, Johnson had been a war-time governor of Tennessee, who apparently was not well-liked by Nashville residents. Therefore, this 1995 casting by Jim Gray, located on the northeast corner of the hill, faces east to the region of Tennessee from where Johnson had himself originated.
Also located within the area is a replica of the Liberty Bell.
Tennessee deserves credit for having contributed 3 important presidents to the USA. The first, and most important was Andrew Jackson, when the state was still a young and wild place. There is a splendid equestrian bronze statue of Andrew Jackson as victorious military leader at 1815 Battle of New Orleans, dedicated in 1880. Though belated in dedication, this is the original "artist proof" of the three duplicates cast by Clark Mills circa 1850. The earlier duplicates were place in Washington, D.C. (1853, Lafayette Park) and New Orleans (1856, Jackson Square). Most notable as the first equestrian bronze statue in the USA, Mills had no experience casting an equestrian statue, much less a dramatic one where the bronze horse's rear legs supported the weight of the entire statue. The statue is appropriate commemorated with bronze plate, and in spring is surrounded by flowering bulbs. On a wall nearby is a Daughters of the Confederacy memorial plate.
For those not familiar with USA history, Jackson was the 7th US president, was the first not to be a "founding father" and the first to actually "campaign" for the popular vote. He won in a landslide election, and he created the tradition of walking along Pennsylvania Ave on inauguration day, and during the post-inaugural ball, he opened the White House up to everyone rich or poor for celebration. Adoring citizens became so drunk and mob like that Jackson chose to exit out a window, even as several thousand dollars of White House china was destroyed. Washington elite were horrified and braced themselves for a fall of American values by this western hero.
As president, Jackson was as decisive and effective as he was a military leader, one the one hand, forcing migration of Native Americans westward across the Mississippi River, a tragic event known as "The Trail of Tears", and on the other hand, eliminating the powerful national bank. Politically expedient as he was rash, Jackson easily served out two terms and successfully promoted his own vice-president to president. Until the civil war every presidential candidate tried to claim some sort of heritage under "Old Hickory". In hindsight, I see a Jackson-Reagan comparison very apt. Jackson's claim to fame was more personality, and therefore symbolic, than practical in terms of effective policy. While he managed to balance the budget, and take on very powerful banking establishment, the outright elimination of the forerunner to today's Federal Reserve was probably a mistake because for the next thirty or so years after Jackson, the federal government struggled to obtain credit for civic projects. Fortunately, this was during a time of frontier expansion when government involvement in the economy wasn't really necessary.
The Tennessee capitol building bears a strong resemblance to Philadelphia's Independence Hall because it was designed by the same architect--William Strickland--who died before completion in 1859 and is buried in the cornerstone of this limestone structure. The high hill is well above the highest possible flood of the Cumberland, and so serves as a great location for a state capitol building, but during and after the civil war this was also a union occupation fortress known as Fortress Andrew Johnson. One of the modern day problems with this location is parking. All the parking lots--except for a cluster of parking spots right outside the building reserved for the governor and state senators--are downhill, and many of them are reserved for state employees.
Near the Bicentennial Walk, there is an open air market that got flooded. But, folks were cleaning up quickly and only the food mall was closed. Portable toilets substituted for the normal plumbing. This is a good place to visit and find locally grown produce.
The Wall of history begins with the formation of the earth's crust within what is now Tennessee and ends with events from the previous year. The first part of the walk is divided into epochs, but within the last century, columns mark each decade. The wall breaks up during the civil war period. World War II has a special section with a granite globe of earth that normally "floats" on water in a fountain. But, the fountain was dry, so the black granite globe simply sat there.
I found the musical/sound experience of the carillon fun. There are 50 columns with 96 bells, each bell representing one of Tennessee's counties arranged in a circle resembling Stonehenge. If one stands in the center of the carillon and whispers, the acoustics amplifies the voice. Every 15 minutes part of "Tennessee Waltz" plays, and every hour, the entire song also plays. This is a free must see experience.
The Bicentennial Capitol Mall, was flooded, but only fountains were damaged, being turned off but briefly for repairs to the plumbing systems. This mall represents the only full view of the capitol, the backside of the capitol building, from below the hill on which it stands, since taller buildings have now eclipsed the capitol view on all other sides. Apparently, the swampy bend in the Cumberland River known as the French Lick, remained largely unbuilt, and so became a grand 1500 foot plus walk with a black granite wall of history on one side, and a collection of tree species lining the other. There are several stone and bronze memorials of interest, but the granite Path of History and the Court of Three Stars are very impressive.
Broadway is perpendicular to the river, and so the only flooded businesses in this district were a few near the river, most notably the Hard Rock Cafe, where police blocked off access to the waterfront. A block or two uphill, we found Saturday afternoon bars busy with live country and bluegrass music bands, and barbeque cafeterias ready to serve up pulled pork and beef sandwiches. The brick commercial buildings here date back to the late 19th century. This is Nashville's "tourist trap" where glittery shops selling Elvis statues and other kitsch is a routine activity.
On the east bank is a substantial work of kinetic sculpture by Alice Aycock that easily survived the flood. This $250,000 public project of aluminum and neon was funded through Nashville’s “percent-for-art” ordinance, which sets aside for public art 1% of the net proceeds of bonds issued to pay for city construction projects.
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