CATEGORY: History and Architecture Tour
Between 2nd and 5th Avenues
Broadway National Register Historic District
The Broadway Historic District, in the shadow of the famed Ryman Auditorium, is probably best known for the many music and tourist-related businesses that remain in this area. Known as Lower Broad, this section of Broadway has for decades attracted country music fans to its honky-tonk bars. Several of the street’s furniture and hardware stores played a key role in Nashville’s economy in the late nineteenth-century; many of these have been adaptively-reused as restaurants catering to locals and tourists alike. The Ernest Tubb Record Shop, at 417 Broadway, was the site of the second-longest running radio show in history, the Midnight Jamboree, still broadcast on Saturday nights on WSM Radio. Singer Ernest Tubb opened the record store and mail-order business in 1947 and moved to this location in 1951. Of particular interest is the former Merchants Hotel, 401 Broadway, a three-story commercial Victorian building. Originally constructed around 1870, the building held a pharmacy and pharmaceutical sales company. The building became Merchants Hotel in 1892, and was rehabilitated in the 1980s for Merchants Restaurant.