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Things to do in Franklin

    Lotz House Lotz House Museum Franklin, Tennessee
    The Lotz House Museum is an eerie blend of beauty and blood, glory and despair, victory and destruction; set in an area that had one of the bloodiest Civil War battles, in Franklin, Tennessee, on a plantation that today is an outstanding Victorian museum filled with antique furniture and collectibles. In 1855, Johann Albert Lotz, a German immigrant, bought five acres of land from Fountain Branch Carter, and within three years, he had finished his house, doing the work himself since he was a master carpenter and piano maker. He could repair violins and guitars, and he would use his house as the perfect example of his craftsmanship and trade. Just the three fireplace mantles could showcase his talents, from the plain and simple to the exquisite, all designed by Johann. Today, you will notice some of the battle scars that now decorate the house, like the charred rounded indentation in the wood flooring that Lotz had built, coming through the roof, then the second story bedroom floor and finally onto the first floor, where it would roll a few feet and come to rest. The house has a splendid black walnut wraparound handrail that begins on the ground floor and then continues to wrap around to the second. Just trying to imagine how this man could create such beautiful and magnificent work without the powerful tools of today is almost unimaginable, but he and many other master carpenters of his era did it with what seems like ease and undoubtedly a huge amount of pleasure. Another outstanding example of his creativity is the newel post that is set at the bottom of the staircase in this house, that had been a piano leg, only Lotz just inverted it and it worked fine. The exterior is just as amazing with hand carved acorn finials, cartouches and millwork, all created and constructed by the knowledgeable carpenter from Germany.  Matilda Lotz, then just a small child, is another story in itself, as she would grow into a very accomplished and renown artist, with many of her works in the Lotz house today, as well as in the Hearst Castle, Stanford University and other places in California, where the family finally moved to after tasting the unbelievable war that they woke up to in December, 1864. The family had been invited to stay at the Carter farmhouse that was made of brick and had a cellar to which they all would go when the Battle of Franklin turned chaotic. Just as significant as these two families were in the history of the young town, the Battle of Franklin would also be another long story that would be remembered by many besides the Lotz and Carter families, as well as those that lived at the Carnton Plantation. The antiques that reside quietly in the Lotz House has been said to be one of the finest private collection of American Victorian furniture in the southeast, with many excellent examples of fine art. There is a painting of Betsy Patterson and Jerome Bonaparte, a Matilda Lotz original oil painting of three sheep that she painted in California in 1880. There are magnificent pieces of furniture from the 1800s that were made by John Henry Belter and Prudent Mallard, along with a rare collection of old Paris porcelain pieces that include a historic peach and cream colored formal set of dishes that three US Presidents used at the Bedford Springs Hotel in Bedford, Pennsylvania; and very rare John James Audubon taxidermied birds that he would use often to paint his beautiful paintings from. No one is aware of any other Audubon stuffed birds in existence. John Henry Belter was also an immigrant from Germany like Lotz who came to this country and opened a small factory in New York City. Many believe that his furniture is unmatched in scale, construction, function and beauty; and many others have considered this as well since they would copy his work. It was this John Belter that would perfect the ancient art of laminating wood upon wood, using layers and silk in between. 

    Gentry's Farm
    Gentry's Farm Franklin, TennesseeGentry's historic working farm is located in Franklin, Tennessee and has been in the family for more than 150 years, diversifying it into a pumpkin picking, crop growing, cattle raising farm that offers many educational opportunities to the local school students and other families around the region. They offer a wonderful summer camp program that invites your children to come on down and try the tire swing, walk the 400 acres and create your own memories of a lifetime. The story begins in 1849, in Williamson County, when Samuel Fielding Glass started buying land until his farm grew to more than a 1000 acres. Sam would grow cotton, and other crops that were for the family's table, raised dairy cows and started a hat factory in Franklin. By the early 1900s, the family had moved into town to be closer to the factory and rented out the farm. By 1975, it would be the Gentry family, heirs of the Glass family, that would move back to the farm that now has three families living on the 400 acre spread. The main brick house was started by Sam Glass, just before the Civil War, with a receipt held today that states he paid $79.50 for the foundation work, with the stone mason agreeing to return after the "political troubles have passed", and it was dated April 24, 1861, just a few days after Fort Sumter had been bombed. There are more receipts that describe how the house was completed after the war, with bricks being laid in 1868, blinds, mantles and doors ordered in September of 1868, and then the walls plastered in March 1870. Wall paper would be ordered around the same time, with curtains and carpet purchased also that year. There are receipts for rooms of furniture, like 3 wardrobes, 2 dozen chairs, 3 bedsteads, 3 washstands, 5 bureaus, and a looking glass for $120 and a marble top table for $20.  Other activities at the farm include a nature trail, four acre cornfield maze, lob cabins, chickens, goats, cows and more, hayrides, grain trough barn, hands-on barn and tire swings; and the pumpkin patch for great varieties of pumpkins to choose from. There is a spring field trip that offers students 12 different areas of interest that include archaeology, architecture, bug hunting, planting and more. It is a marvelous farm to visit and enjoy through the seasons, with learning acquired through fun.

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    Carter HouseCarter House Franklin, Tennessee
    The Carter House is located in Franklin, Tennessee and is one of the most historical surviving houses of the Civil War, that had been the place of one of the bloodiest battles in that war, as the Carter family and the Lotz family hid in the cellar for some 20 hours as the second Battle of Franklin exploded around them. It is now a Tennessee historic site, as well as a contributing property and centerpiece of the Franklin battlefield, which is now a National Historic Landmark. In 1830, Fountain Branch Carter finished building his federal style brick farm house with numerous other outbuildings included. The farm office, kitchen, smokehouse and the biggest cotton gin in Williamson County, although the other structures can be seen on the property, the gin is gone. You can however, still see almost a thousand bullet holes in the buildings that do stand there, a horrid reminder of that bloody battle. The house would become an important fixture on the property as it was used for a Union headquarters, with many breastworks constructed south of the smokehouse and office. Once the battle was finished, it would be used as a field hospital for both sides. Fountain's middle son, Tod, had been mortally wounded in the battle, being able to come home for the first time in three long years, and brought to the house once he was found on the battlefield still alive. Tod would be alive for several hours more, surrounded by his loving family, as he surrendered his life. That was December 2, 1864, and he would be buried at the Rest Haven Cemetery a little bit north of Franklin. Tours are available and you can see the room that Tod passed away in along with all the other furnishings and artifacts.  The story of the battle is one of strength, courage, determination, brutality, savage, and great uncontrollable sadness, with 650 Union soldiers killed, 2300 wounded and 1104 captured; the Confederacy lost over 2000 men, with 5000 seriously wounded and 702 captured. In fact, there were more men killed in the Second Battle of Franklin of the Confederacy in that 5 hour battle, than were killed in the Battle of Shiloh, which lasted 2 days or the Battle of Stones River that took 3 days to fight.  It is no wonder that the Battle of Franklin was called the bloodiest five hours of the American Civil War. 

     Ace High Ballooning
    Ace High Ballooning Franklin, TennesseeThe Ace High Ballooning company in Franklin, Tennessee was started by Bob Grimes, a commercially licensed balloon pilot since 1977, after he had taken his first ride in a hot air balloon in 1973. That was the same year that his neighbor would win the First World Hot Air Balloon championship. Bob was a college student at the time, without money for instructions or a balloon, so he worked for a balloon company to learn the trade and gain his flight instruction. Bob then moved to Albuquerque in 1979 so that he could work for the World Balloon Corporation, the biggest commercial balloon operation in the entire world, at that time, and as he flew across the country he would gain valuable training and knowledge. In 1982, Bob moved back to Michigan to start his own business, and was chosen for the chief pilot for the Buick Olympic Balloon Program, which was an exhaustive 18 month tour that would end at the summer games in Los Angeles. He continued running a successful charter ride company, as well as sub-contracting work from other companies and flying around the mid-west. He started organizing small balloon festivals, with many still in operation and moved his company to Tennessee in 2000. The improved weather conditions and economic climate were much better suited for his business and he has been doing it with style ever since. The company offers charter balloon flights, vacation packages, corporate advertising programs, gas ballooning, event management, helium and cold air inflatables, sales of balloons, both new and used as well as expert flight instruction. His rides are at dawn or about two hours before sunset, with reservations encouraged and gift certificates available. All balloons and pilots are FAA certified and have outstanding records. The whole process takes about three hours, with an hour of actual flight, so be sure to bring layered clothing and a camera to take some of the most fantastic pictures you ever have.

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Local Restaurants in Franklin

    Red Pony Restaurant
    Appetizers; rotollo is rolled pasta filled with toasted fall squash & herbed cheeses & hazelnut butter; blue cheesecake is herbed potato chip crust & pepper jelly; antipasti plate is housemade sausage, warm ricotta fondue, cured meat, toasted bread; sautéed quail medallions is savory Lancashire pudding & roasted apple jack sauce; hand made guacamole with crispy jicama & fresh corn tortilla chips; tempura sushi roll with shrimp, cream cheese, ginger, soy & miso-honey sauce; beef tenderloin pizza with charred beef, mozzarella & bleu cheese, oven dried tomato & caramelized onion. Salads; soup of the day; arugula with brie, sliced apple, honeyed walnuts, roasted grape vinaigrette; Caesar with romaine hearts, garlic croutons, parmesan-peppercorn dressing, white anchovy; roasted beets with mixed greens, cranberry & blood oranges with goat cheese dressing; Red Pony house with assorted lettuces, red onions, parmesan cheese, pepperconi, red wine vinaigrette. Entrees; grilled swordfish with sweet potato-cranberry-pancetta hash with soy-armagnac sauce; lamb shank with pappardelle is leg of lamb Bolognese with ricotta cheese & hint of mint; pork t-bone with caramelized pear & pearl onions, creamy polenta, brandy mustard cream; grouper Vera Cruz is chile-tomato broth with peppers, onions, olives & steamed rice; shrimp & grits with apple bacon, mushrooms, wine over garlic cheese grits; Red Pony BLT is bacon, lobster, tomato over Yukon gold ravioli, truffled corn cream; wood grilled beef tenderloin with blue cheese, sweet corn risotto, grilled asparagus & honey-Dijon sauce; hickory fried cowboy rib eye is bone in rib eye & red potatoes, chile butter, melted onions & mushrooms.

    Saffire Restaurant
    Starters; fried oysters with tomato crawfish butter, chayote salad, turnip mash & baby bottle of tobasco; fresh cut onion rings in light flaky breading with spicy bam bam sauce; char su lettuce cups is baby lettuce cups filled with Korean style BBQ chicken; peel & eat BBQ shrimp with spicy New Orleans BBQ butter, grilled bread & bib. Entrees; Tennessee cordon bleu is all natural chicken breast filled with shaved country ham, Swiss cheese, fresh sage & topped with Dijon cream sauce, with ham, potato & sweet pea hash; Thai spiced braised short beef ribs is slowly braised all day, with fried potato spring roll, sautéed veggies & spicy Thai demiglace; Prime rib is pit-smoked, spice rubbed, with creme fraiche mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus & Worcestershire jus; loveless glazed pork chop pit smoked & grilled with loveless peach glaze, collard greens & mashed potatoes; Creole shrimp & grit cakes is sautéed shrimp in Creole tomato sauce, served over crispy cheesy grit cakes & broccoli; fish & grits is grilled or blackened fish over creamy stone ground grits & country green beans, topped with tasso meuniere; catfish served with sweet & spicy slaw, fresh cut fried tater & 3 sauces for dipping; blackened mahi mahi tacos with jicama slaw, rice & beans; glazed salmon with lemon marmalade glaze, lentil hash & grilled asparagus; chicken fried chicken is panko-crusted chicken breast with Vermont white cheddar-n-mac & topped with loveless country ham gravy; hickory grilled filet with parmesan truffle fries, grilled asparagus & roasted shallot demiglace; chimichurri skirt steak is herb & garlic rubbed grilled skirt steak, roasted corn salsa, smoked poblano peppers, onions & marinated tomatoes, finished with sour cream; black & bleu is blackened beef tenderloin, garlic-herb butter, red onions, sweet peppers & sundried tomatoes.

 

Grilled Swordfish Red Pony Restaurant Franklin, Tennessee

 

Grouper Veracruz Red Pony Restaurant Franklin, Tennessee

 

 

 Chicken Cordon Bleu Saffire Restaurant Franklin, Tennessee

 

Creole Shrimp Saffire Restaurant Franklin, Tennessee

 

Chimichurri Skirt Steak Saffire Restaurant Franklin, Tennessee

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    Historic Carnton Plantation Carnton Plantation Franklin, Tennessee
    Carnton Plantation is a historic estate and museum in Franklin, Tennessee that was another part of the famous and bloody Battle of Franklin in the Civil War, and is also the setting for Robert Hicks, novel, The Widow of the South. Randall McGavock, an emigrant from Virginia, began the initial construction of Carnton in 1815, with slave labor helping improve the work in the mid 1820s. He would name the property after his father's birthplace in Country Antrim, Ireland, derived from the Gaelic word cairn that translated into "a pile of stones", which was usually named for marking a grave, that unfortunately would be somewhat of a sad prophecy. The main house would have additions like a smokehouse and kitchen along the two story wing, since the smokehouse had been the first structure built.  In 1909, the kitchen was demolished by a tornado, although the remnants are still visible, and archaeologists are excavating the site continuously. Randal McGavock became an important local politician, eventually becoming Mayor of Nashville for one year in 1824, meeting President James K. Polk and getting to be friends with President Andrew Jackson, who was welcomed at his home numerous times. Jackson would give a rocking chair to the McGavocks, and it is one of the many antiquities still seen in the house. During the late 1820s, the house would become livable, sitting on 1400 acres with 500 being used for farming purposes, and by the 1830s, the farm had 250 sheep, hogs and cattle.  The history of the family and the events leading up to the battle are very exciting and interesting reading, so when you visit the plantation, be sure to check it all out. The battle, of course, is another story altogether and should be read, although the horror and aftermath is not something of great interest, unless those events tend to interest you from historical viewpoint. Randal would have a son named John, who married Carrie Winder, who was eventually called the "widow of the south", which is another story as well. She, as were all the family members were heavily taxed by the influx of wounded and dying soldiers that were piled high around their house and property, as were many of the area houses, since these soldiers were left dying or dead where they landed. The aftermath of the battle was a very overwhelming sight and job for the 750 residents of Franklin at the time, with more than 2500 dead soldiers and the majority of those were Confederates. The Union general, John M. Schofield left for Nashville, leaving his dead and many wounded not able to walk, right there, and Confederate general John Bell gave orders for his burial teams to work through the night, not wanting any Confederates to be buried in mass graves, where they might not be identified. The McGavocks would spend the remainder of their lives caring for the dead, wanting their identities to be correct, with John passing away in 1893 and Carrie in 1905. 

    Winstead Hill Park
    Winstead Hill Park Franklin, TennesseeWinstead Hill Park in Franklin, Tennessee encompasses 61 acres of trails, with quiet wooded areas, restrooms, parking area and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. A Civil War monument is located there to honor those many men that fought in the Battle of Franklin and walked these woods before and many, after that terrible battle. This small hill was where General John B. Hood would arrange his troops before the battle, and is the vantage point where he watched as the horror show unfold. The main force of Hood's army got here at 1 PM on November 30, 1864, and within four hours his men would be facing Federal troops led by General Schofield. Schofield had stopped in Franklin to rest his men before the hard march to Nashville, but would become engaged in the Battle of Franklin; although the Confederacy lost many more significant leaders including; Major General Patrick Cleburne, General John C. Carter, General Otho F. Stahl, General John Adams, General Hiram B. Granbury and General States Rights Gist. There is a Brigadiers Walk that contains monuments to the generals, which became the most expensive 5 hours of the war, and no other battle or war has lost that many high ranking officers at one time. The Confederacy would mount 13 frontal assaults against the better entrenched Union, which left all its dead and wounded to the mercy of the Confederate army, that had unfortunately been decimated by the battle.

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    Carter Gin Assault Site ParkCarter Gin Assault Site Park Franklin, Tennessee
    The Carter Gin Assault Site Battlefield park is located just a bit south of the Carter main house and museum, in Franklin, Tennessee and shows how a battlefield can be restored, since it had been built on by a Pizza Hut restaurant. In 2005, after realizing the historical significance of the site of the former gin mill, the restaurant was bought and razed, so that this park could be located at the site of a very intense and bloody battle. The Carter gin site, that is just across the street from the park, sat by the Carter house in 1864, which became the epicenter of the horrible battle of Franklin, and is possible to see the markers of where six Confederate generals and thousands of men fell that unbelievable day, from 5 PM to 9 PM. The memorial is a simple one with just a text marker and cannonball pyramid monument; but it is now recognized as perhaps the most hallowed ground of the entire battlefield. It is a surprisingly fitting memorial, one that is considered grand in its simplicity and magnitude, honoring many brave and selfless men that fought for their beliefs and countrymen. The site has since become one of the 26 stops along a self-guided battlefield tour that the maps showing all the locations and some information can be picked up at the Franklin downtown visitors center.

    Fort Granger Park
    Fort Granger Park Franklin, Tennessee
    The Fort Granger Park is located just a bit behind Pinkerton Park, with a walking trail that leads to an overlook that features a large area of the south part of Franklin, Tennessee, with trenches still located around the perimeter, dug by Union troops for the Battle of Franklin. There are numerous locations on the south and southwest parts of the hill that offer outstanding views of the city and area. It was here that the Union army would set up their artillery and also where the gunners would almost wipe out Loring's and Wathall's divisions as they came from the southwest, crossing the Carnton Plantation, even though the guns were almost a mile away. These guns would shell the right flank of the incoming Confederate soldiers, and it would be used by General Schofield as his headquarters during the battle since it was such a strategic location. It would also not be assailed because of its upper location and the Harpeth River, but it was more than able to send shell after shell into the Confederate army as it struggled to advance against the front lines of the Union troops.

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    Battle of FranklinBattle of Franklin, Tennessee
    The Battle of Franklin, in Tennessee, was fought in April, 1863, in Williamson County, and was a minor skirmish compared to the Second Battle of Franklin that occurred in 1864, but in the same general area. The Battle of Franklin, 1863, was between a reconnaissance force led by Major General Earl Van Dorn of the Confederate cavalry, and what is called, an equally inept response by Major General Gordon Granger and his Union troops. Van Dorn headed north from Spring Hill, Tennessee, on April 10, getting contact with Federal skirmishers a bit outside Franklin. Van Dorn's attack had been so lackadaisical that when Granger got a false report that Brentwood, further north, was under attack, he sent the majority of his cavalry that way believing that Van Dorn was just trying a diversion. After Granger learned the truth, he decided to attack Van Dorn, only to learn that one of his subordinates had already started, without orders. It seems that Brigadier General David S. Stanley, and a brigade of 4th US Cavalry had taken it upon himself to cross the Harpeth River and come up behind the Confederate rear. He then attacked and captured Freeman's Tennessee battery on the Lewis Road, but would lose it again when Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest counterattacked. Since his rear was being attacked, and Van Dorn not knowing what size the force was, he decided to cancel his operations and withdraw back to Spring Hill, leaving the area in the control of the Union troops.

    Second Battle of Franklin
    Second Battle of Franklin, TennesseeThe Second Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee, which was part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign of the American Civil War, and considered to be the most horrific, bloody and savage battle that was fought in five hours of the entire war. It would be one of the worst disasters of the Civil War for the Confederacy, with General John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee attempting 13 frontal attacks on the Union positions that were led by General John M. Schofield, and not ever breaking through or stopping his withdrawal to Nashville. The Confederate army fielded eighteen brigades of close to 20,000 men; which would often be called the "Pickett's charge of the west", that would end with a devastated loss of life and men, as well as leadership in the army with the loss of six generals and leaders, seven wounded and one captured, as well as 55 regimental commanders becoming casualties. After the Army of Tennessee was defeated by Major General George H. Thomas in the next Battle of Nashville, the army would retreat with less than half the men it had when it started the short lived campaign. It would also mean that the Army of Tennessee would no longer be considered a fighting unit, but instead be proportioned out to other divisions. The prelude to this battle would be the defeat of Hood by Sherman in the Atlanta campaign, in which Hood had hoped to lure Sherman into a battle by disrupting his supply lines by rail from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Only Sherman was determined to cut off his main army from chasing Hood and live off the land on his famous March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah. That way, Sherman wouldn't have to defend a hundred or more miles of supply lines against rebel raids, where he believed that he would lose at least a thousand men a month. With Sherman doing this, Hood was left without a major enemy to fight and his Army of Tennessee would be able to attack Sherman's flanks or attack him head on. The job of defending Tennessee and protecting the rearguard of Sherman was Major General George H. Thomas, who was commanding the Army of the Cumberland. Other Union forces available for fighting included the IV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland, that was commanded by Major General David S. Stanley and the XXIII Corps of the Army of the Ohio, who was commanded by Major General John Schofield, with a total strength of 30,000 men. Thomas had another 30,000 with him as he moved around Nashville. Instead of chasing after Sherman in Georgia, Hood decided to move north and start a major campaign there, although his army of 39,000 would be outnumbered by the total Union strength of 60,000. Hood planned on going north into Tennessee and defeat parts of Thomas' army before they could come together and concentrate, and take the opportunity to seize the important supply and manufacturing center of Nashville and then continue moving north into Kentucky as far as the Ohio River. Hood had expected he could pick up another 20,000 recruits in Tennessee and Kentucky in his journey of victory and then join up with Lee's army in Virginia. Historian James M. McPherson believes this plan was "scripted in never-never land". And Hood would spend another three weeks in Alabama getting ready for his advance. The rest is history and very very interesting for those history and Civil War buffs, with all the information at many of the historic sites in Franklin and other parts of the south, since it would turn out to become a major campaign that would destroy the army of Tennessee, which at that time was the second largest Confederate force in the region.

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    Belle Meade PlantationBelle Meade Plantation Franklin, Tennessee
    Belle Meade Plantation can be found in Belle Meade, Tennessee, and is a historic plantation that is also a museum, constructed in 1853, by General William Giles Harding. Virginian John Harding purchased the Dunham Station log cabin and 250 acres on the Natchez Trace in 1807, and started boarding horses like his neighbor, Andrew Jackson, and by 1816 was also breeding them. He started shipping grain to places like New Orleans and Charleston, and began buying big tracts of land in Louisiana and Arkansas. General William Giles Harding, John' son, built the magnificent mansion, as well as purchasing more land until he had some 5400 acres and became world famous for breeding thoroughbred horses. Then, the Civil War started and brought with it danger and deprivation to the plantation, and during the Battle of Nashville, both Union and Confederate troops would skirmish in the front yard. Today, you can still see many of the bullet marks left in the huge stone columns that sit on the front portico. During and after the Reconstruction period, the plantation's reputation as a first-class horse breeder still brought buyers from around the world, for the yearly sales event. With the help and management of his sons-in-law, Howell Edmunds Jackson and William Hicks Jackson, the Belle Meade stud program still flourished and once the men were dead, the property would fall into bad economic times and force the auction of the estate at the start of the 20th century; and the fourth generation of the Harding family was forced to move off the property. These acres would become the basis for the independent city of Belle Meade, Tennessee, and in 1952, the Belle Meade Mansion and eight of the outbuildings that sat on 30 acres would be donated to the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, and presently managed by the Nashville chapter of that organization.  Today, the property supports the Winery at Belle Meade Plantation, since they have learned that many generations ordered wine and bottle from France and Europe, along with the annual empty bottles, that are believed to have been filled with muscadine and blackberry wines. The property has magnificent vines on the small acreage today, filled with muscadine and blackberry grapes, so in 2009, they began using the vines and subsequent grapes to make their own wines which is the first such vineyard in the Nashville area and the newest in the state. 

    Parthenon Nashville
    Parthenon Nashville, TennesseeOne of the ancient world's most famous architectural structures has been replicated in Nashville, Tennessee and that is the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the magnificent building that stands in ruin today in Athens, Greece. It was constructed in 1897 as a part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, and was influenced by the city's moniker of the Athens of the South. Quite a few structures at the expo were based on ancient originals, but this Parthenon was the only one that was an exact copy, and it is the only one that was kept by the city, but the Knights of Pythias structure was bought and moved to Franklin, Tennessee. People from all around the world have come here to visit and view the beautiful structure that is in much better condition than the original, but for those of this country, that may never have the money or the opportunity to travel to Greece, it is the next best thing. The majestic structure was originally built of brick, wood and plaster, until 1920, when it would be rebuilt on the same foundations but with concrete; with the exterior being completed in 1925, and the interior in 1931. Currently, the Parthenon, that is now an art museum, continues to be the centerpiece of Centennial Park, a huge public park, located west of downtown Nashville. In 1990, sculptor Alan LeQuire re-created the Athena Parthenos statue for the interior of the building, just as it was done for the original. The structure is exactly the same as the original, with the statue reconstructed by using carefully studied standards, since the original was lost, with her being cuirassed and helmeted, with a shield on her left arm and a small six foot statue of Victory in her right palm, with Athena standing 42 feet high, gilt with over 8 pounds of golf leaf and an equally large serpent rearing its ugly head between her and the shield. After the structure was completed and decorations painted in colors that matched the originals as closely and as historically as possible, the building is believed to be the pinnacle of classic architecture. The plastered copies of the Parthenon Marbles that are set in the Naos, the east room of the main hall, are direct casts of the original sculptures that adorned the pediments of the Parthenon, that dates back to 438 BC. Many of the original fragments are now kept at the British museum in London and others at the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The building's museum has 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists that were donated by James M. Cowan, with other spaces being used for temporary displays and events.

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May 12, 2011