Tennessee’s premier historic building and architectural jewel, the State Capitol Building is located on the highest point in the city of Nashville, on a hill once known as Cedar Knob. The cornerstone for the building was laid on July 4, 1845, and construction was completed in 1859. Designed by renowned architect William Strickland, the Tennessee State Capitol’s Greek Revival style embodies Strickland’s vision for a building that reflected Tennessee’s virtues. William Strickland died five years prior to the completion of his work, and was entombed in its northeast wall. British architect Harvey Ackroyd was hired to supervise the final stages of Capitol construction, from 1858 to 1859. Strickland’s son, Francis W. Strickland, completed work on the tower and lantern feature of the structure, which now stands as a testament to Tennessee’s prominence and historic importance as our nation’s sixteenth state.
There are so many stories to be told about the Capitol Building that one blog post would simply not do this building justice. Yet, it has been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so we offer you a few images from TSLA’s collections that help tell the story of our State Capitol.
Production on the video tour of the State Capitol is underway, so look for an update on this project in the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about our State Capitol and its unique history, we invite you to visit us in person, and also browse our online resources for further information.
The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.