Nashville Public Library

Nashville Public Library

CATEGORIES: Libraries | History and Architecture Tour


615 Church St
Telephone: 615-862-5800


Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Downtown Core


Two blocks south of the Tennessee State Capitol stands Nashville’s downtown library. Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York designed the three-story 300,000 square foot building in a Modern Classical style. The design, a stone building with a large pedimented center block, columns, and pilasters, acknowledges the classical tradition of Nashville’s public architecture, such as the State Capitol and the Parthenon. Inside is a grand staircase in the lobby, lots of skylights, large windows providing a view of the State Capitol, and original artwork commissioned exclusively for the library. The monumental bronze doors at the library’s entrance were designed by local sculptor Alan LeQuire, and the grand Reading Room features a series of hammered copper repousse panels by artist Greg Ridley. Inside the library, the Nashville Room offers books, photographs, pamphlets and newspaper clippings on the history of Nashville. It maintains the definitive Nashville author collection as well as many genealogical materials including early census materials and an index of obituaries from the local newspapers. The Civil Rights Collection occupies the west wing of the Nashville Room.

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