Friday, January 20, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
According to Wikipedia:
The Tennessee Governor's Mansion, also known as the Tennessee Residence, in Nashville, TN, is the official residence of the Governor of Tennessee and his family. It is a three-story Georgian-style mansion that was built as a private home for William Ridley Wills and his family in 1929. It is on a 10-acre tract about 5 miles south of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville. The state purchased the house in 1949 and it has served as the home of Tennessee's governors since then.
The first renovation since the residence was purchased by the state was completed during the spring of 2010. The project was initiated in 2005 by Andrea Conte, the wife of then-Governor Phil Bredesen. For years, maintenance had been deferred by governors wary of alienating voters. Prior to the renovation, the slate roof leaked, ceiling and wall plaster had many cracks, lead-based paint was peeling, and the residence was still heated and cooled by the original hot and cold water radiator system. Two other major problems were the relative lack of accessibility for disabled persons, and inadequate formal dining/gathering space. The formal dining room seated only 22 people, but state dinners often had more than 50 guests. In those situations, tents were erected on the front lawn along with port-o-let toilets for the guests of state to use.
To address these problems, the Memphis-based architectural firm Archimania was selected to design what was to be named Conservation Hall, which was completed during the spring of 2010. It is a 14,000-square-foot mainly underground dining and meeting room capable of seating 160 people. The center of Conservation Hall is a glass-walled oval atrium that opens to the sky. It is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified, the first governor's residence to be given the LEED designation. The Tennessee Governor's Mansion is the only official executive residence in the United States to have an underground gathering space.
The house is open to the public for tours by advance reservation.
***Editor's note: At the time of it's building, the Conservation Hall, (a.k.a. the Underground Party Bunker) turned into one of the most controversial events during the term of Gov. Bredesen.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
While the city of Trenton is better known for its teapots, the Gibson County Courthouse is one of the most elaborate in the state. Not that my opinion really matters a whole lot to you, but after careful consideration, I call this the third best courthouse in the state trailing only Giles County and Montgomery County.
This courthouse was built from 1899-1901. Walter Chamberlain designed it with a Classical Revival style. The clock tower was destroyed by fire in 1941 but rebuilt with the bell placed back hanging in its rightful place. The elaborately designed three story structure covered in red and blonde bricks is now on the National Register of Historic Places because of the architecture.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
This tiled artwork of a squirrel, tree and turtle is located at Bowie Nature Park in Fairview. It was created by lead artist Sherri Warner Hunter and dedicated on September 10, 2005.
Monday, January 16, 2017
As America honors Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday in January, I'd like to share this photo of the National Civil Rights Museum that promotes the vision that Dr. King embraced.
Walter Bailey purchased the Windsor Hotel in 1945 and renamed it the Lorraine Motel. Located close the the center of Memphis, during the days of segregation the motel catered to an upscale black clientele.
In April 1968, King traveled to Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. King stayed in room 306, located on the second floor of the Lorraine Motel. At 6:01 PM on April 4, 1968 while he was standing on the balcony outside his room, King was struck by a single bullet, causing him to fall backwards unconscious.
Following the assassination, Bailey left Room 306 undisturbed. While the Motel remained open for a few more years, Bailey worked to preserve the motel as a historic site raising funds to Save the Lorraine. The Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation bought the motel in 1982. The Motel officially closed in 1998 as the property transformed into a museum.
For architectural designs, the museum called upon McKissack & McKissack from Nashville, the first African American architecture firm in America. After purchasing adjoining property, the museum opened in Sept. 1991.
Today, on the grounds of the museum, a wreath is placed at the balcony where King was hit. The original sign for the museum has been preserved outside. From this iconic photo from the balcony there are two cars visible below, and there are replicas of these two cars at the museum today. For now, customers of the museum are allowed to look into the window of Room 306.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Cades Cove at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular destination in the United States most visited national park. The isolated valley was the home to many early settlers and today several of those sites are well preserved. An 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove, offering motorists the opportunity to sight-see the wildlife, scenic beauty and historic district structures on the National Register of Historic Places at a leisurely pace.
The Baptist denomination came to Cades Cove in 1825. Several years later that congregation split into the Primitive Baptist Church and this Missionary Baptist Church. (the sign on the side of the building says they were founded in 1839.) They met together at first in homes in 1841. They stopped meeting during the Civil War. They grew large enough to need a building, which was completed in 1894. As they continued to grow, they needed a bigger building and this one was completed in 1915.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Located in Downtown Hopkinsville, this dual stone arch bridge built in 1904 carries 7th street over the North Fork of the Little River. The bridge is viewable from Little River Park.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
On a campus full of prominent historic buildings, the oldest one may be under-appreciated. According to the marker:
The Little Theater, circa 1860, is the oldest structure on the Fisk University campus. Erected as part of a Union Army hospital barracks during the Civil War, it was known as the "Railroad Hospital." The interior was remodeled for use as the Fisk campus theater in 1935.
In addition to a Nashville Historic Commission plaque on the front is this:
January 9, 1866
January 1, 1876
This building is one of the original buildings of Fisk University. During the Civil War it was used as a hospital Army barracks
--Class of 1932--
Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Fisk University Historic District.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Located at the site of the TC headquarters, most of the Tennessee Central Buildings are gone, but several still remain. The actual museum is held in the building seen here, which was used as the Master Mechanic's shop. Also inside is a small gift shop and a model train hobby shop. Today, the museum is best known for its excursion trains. From here, it's a short walk to the tracks to see their restored passenger cars as well as their other rolling stock.
For more info:
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The Battle of Shiloh was a major battle in the Western Theater of the Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in Hardin County Tennessee. A Union army under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and was encamped principally at Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the river. Confederate forces under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard launched a surprise attack on Grant there. The Confederates achieved considerable success on the first day, but were ultimately defeated on the second day.
On the first day of the battle, the Confederates struck with the intention of driving the Union defenders away from the river and into the swamps of Owl Creek to the west, hoping to defeat Grant's Army of the Tennessee before the anticipated arrival of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio. The Confederate battle lines became confused during the fierce fighting, and Grant's men instead fell back to the northeast, in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. A position on a slightly sunken road, nicknamed the "Hornet's Nest", defended by the men of Brig. Gens. Benjamin M. Prentiss's and W. H. L. Wallace's divisions, provided critical time for the rest of the Union line to stabilize under the protection of numerous artillery batteries. Gen. Johnston was killed during the first day of fighting, and Beauregard, his second in command, decided against assaulting the final Union position that night.
Reinforcements from Gen. Buell and from Grant's own army arrived in the evening and turned the tide the next morning, when the Union commanders launched a counterattack along the entire line. The Confederates were forced to retreat from the bloodiest battle in United States history up to that time, ending their hopes that they could block the Union advance into northern Mississippi.
Today, the area around Pittsburg Landing and the Shiloh Church is maintained as the Shiloh National Military Park under the oversight of the United States National Park Service. Located in the park is also the Shiloh National Cemetery where all the Union soldiers have been interred. The entire park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
Visiting the park can be an all day affair. Starting in the visitor center with a museum and bookstore, from there one can tour the cemetery. There is a self guided auto tour that points out about 20 locations at the park. Also inside the park is the Shiloh Indian Mounds, a historic burial ground from centuries ago. All in all, monuments, canons and markers are everywhere. I felt there were too many pictures for me to put them all on flickr, so I set up a gallery on my website with 130 pictures which you can see here: