Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Usually, when people think of a folly, the usual definition is of a foolish act or mistake. The other definition as it applies here is an ornamental building with no practical purpose, built in a large garden or park.
The following text describing this shelter and the other Shelby Park follies is taken from the city of Nashville's website on the Shelby Park Master Plan:
www.nashville.gov/Portals/0/SiteContent/Parks/docs/planni... (large file download)
Original features built in Shelby Park included several architectural “follies” or fanciful, picturesque structures. One was the Dutch Windmill. Built for the park opening in 1912 on what became known as Windmill Hill, it was a full scale interpretation of what
one might have imagined in Holland. The tall structure allowed visitors to climb an exterior staircase and enjoy expansive views of the park. The windmill burned in 1940. The Lake Sevier Boathouse (1912) was constructed of wood & concrete and designed to look like the prow of a riverboat. Paddle boats and canoes were available for rental at the boathouse, which also offered views of lake and surrounding area from an upper deck. The water fountain shelter (1912) near the Lillian Avenue entrance is the only folly still standing today, and is the most fanciful of several cast concrete structures in the park designed by E. C. Lewis.