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The Tennessee State Capitol, located in Nashville, Tennesseemarker, is the home of the Tennessee legislature, the location of the governor's office, and a National Historic Landmark. Designed by William Strickland, it is one of Nashville's most prominent examples of Greek Revival architecture.

Design and construction

The State Capitol was designed by renowned Philadelphiamarker architect William Strickland, who modeled it after a Greek Ionic temple. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1845 and the building was completed fourteen years later in 1859.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has listed the building as a civil engineering landmark in recognition of its innovative construction, which made unusually extensive use of stone and was an early example of the use of structural iron. Both the interior and exterior are built with limestone from a quarry about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the site. Some interior columns were built from single pieces of stone, requiring massive wooden derricks to hoist them into place. Wrought iron, instead of wood, was used for the roof trusses to reduce the building's vulnerability to fire.

Strickland died five years before the building's completion and was entombed in its northeast wall. His son, F. W. Strickland, supervised completion of the structure. William Strickland also designed the Egyptian Revival style Downtown Presbyterian Churchmarker, formerly known as First Presbyterian Church, Nashville.

Samuel Morgan (1798-1880), chairman of the State Building Commission overseeing the construction of the Tennessee State Capitol, is entombed in the southeast corner near the south entrance.


Monuments on the Capitol grounds include statues of two the three Tennessee residents who served as President of the United States: Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The second President from Tennessee, James K. Polk, is buried in a tomb on the grounds, together with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk. Other monuments on the grounds include the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission Memorial, the Sam Davis Memorial at the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds, the Sen. Edward Ward Carmack Memorial located above the Motlow Tunnel near the south entrance, and the Memorial to Africans during the Middle Passage at the southwest corner of Capitol grounds. The Charles Warterfield Reliquary is a group of broken limestone columns and fragments removed and saved from the State Capitol during the mid-1950s restoration, located near the northern belvedere on Capitol Drive.

Image:Tennessee state capitol house chamber 2002.jpg|Inside the House Chamber from the viewing galleryImage:Tennessee state capitol house floor 2002.jpg|Inside the House Chamber as seen from the floorImage:Andrew Jackson Statue Nashville.jpg|Andrew Jackson Statue located on the grounds of the Tennessee State CapitolImage:Tennessee State Capitol Nighttime.jpg|Night time view of the Capitol


  1. Tennessee State Capitol, History & Heritage of Civil Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers website

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