CATEGORY: History and Architecture Tour
401 Church St
The home office of the Life & Casualty Insurance Company, constructed 1956-57, was the first major construction in downtown after World War II. Nashville’s first modern skyscraper was also the Southeast’s tallest commercial structure, at 409 feet and 31 stories, until the mid-1960s. Though American General acquired L&C in 1968, the neon initials “L&C” still adorn the tower. The building was designed by Edwin Keeble, and many consider it to be his masterpiece. Though grand, it is designed on a human scale. The rounded dark marble of the tower’s base and the four story lobby are impressive but not overwhelming. Keeble, with the aid of a Vanderbilt University astronomer, effectively controlled the amount of sunlight entering the building. His placement of windows and vertical aluminum fins resulted in substantial energy savings for L&C, decades before energy conservation became a national concern.