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May 6 2013

Made in America: The Parthenon

By Sheri Oneal

Last year I had the opportunity to photograph the Parthenon here in Nashville for a book publishing assignment and felt it was a perfect addition to my “Made in America” blog series. I found myself completely taken by the history of how this building came into existence. Just the mere fact that it was originally built in 1897 as a centerpiece for the state fair at Centennial Park in my opinion makes it a tribute to American History. The re-creation of the 42 foot Athena statue intrigues me because I studied art history in college (Greece is a place I want to visit someday). As an educator I am enamored that Nashville earned recognition as ”the Athens of the South” around 1850 because it was the first  Southern city to establish a public school system and had numerous higher education institutions.

The Parthenon resides on a 132-acre plot of land that originally was farm land owned by Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill. She was the first teacher in Tennessee and the sister of General James Robertson (Father of Tennessee). The land was granted to her for saving Fort Wautaga (and the woman there) by fending off Indians in 1776 with her bravery as she led a bucket brigade of boiling wash water. After the Civil War the land was turned into the state fair grounds.

The Parthenon was originally built out of wood, plaster and brick and never intended to be permanent. Construction to rebuild the deteriorating structure in concrete started in 1920 and was completely renovated both inside and out by 1931. Originally being built as a place to hold the state fair it later became a place for massive theatrical productions and pageants. Today it is a historical place to visit as well as a local hang out. Inside is Nashville’s art museum and additional art galleries offering ever changing shows and exhibits. The grounds of Centennial Park are open to the public and offer a park, volleyball courts, exercise trails, gardens, exhibits, events, festivals and a band shell that host concerts among many other activities. Overall the Parthenon and Centennial Park are iconic to Nashville and a great place to visit as a tourist or as a local!

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

Nashville Parthenon

I continue to look for interesting story ideas in the Nashville area and need help finding unique small business individuals. If you are a small business owner with a story, offer a unique product and/or service or know of someone please let me know!  Message me with your suggestion and your phone number so I can review it and contact you if I feel it will work with this new blog series. If chosen I will schedule a photoshoot, write up a story line with your approval, post it within my blog and social media space and market it across the web. I will also allow you to use the blog link for your own promotion. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog post are ©2013 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content must be agreed upon in writing.

*If you would like to leave a review of my work please do so here!

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