Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

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Nashville, TN
United States
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Landscape Information

Spanning 0.4 miles from Jefferson Street to its terminus at the northern edge of the State Capitol, this nineteen-acre park was built in 1996 to celebrate Tennessee’s 200th year of statehood. Modeled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the park contains educational and symbolic elements highlighting Tennessee’s geography, people, and heritage. At its northern edge is the Court of Three Stars, a round plaza surrounded by a 95-bell carillon consisting of a double row of columns symbolizing the state’s musical heritage and its 95 counties. Emanating from the plaza’s southern edge and bifurcating the central lawn, the Path of Volunteers comprises two straight walkways, which gradually diverge, built with 17,000 pavers inscribed with the names of individual donors. Along Seventh Avenue, the Pathway of History contains a 1,400-foot-long granite wall describing significant events from the state’s past. On the opposite side of the park, 95 at-grade engraved disks dot the heavily planted Pathway of the Counties. North of Harrison Street, the park’s central lawn descends into a 2,000-seat theater with eight wide terraces. The below-grade elevation of the theater maintains clear sightlines from the Court of Three Stars to the Capitol. South of the theater, the Rivers of Tennessee Fountain features 31 spray jets alongside a granite wall inscribed with information about the state’s 31 waterways. At the park’s southern edge is the Tennessee Plaza, a 200-foot-wide, ground-level engraved granite state map. Also within the park is a World War II memorial with a rotating globe, a Civilian Conservation Corps marker, and two monuments to local and statewide geographic features. The McNairy Springs monument commemorates the original location of a freshwater source, while a second monument to Sulphur Springs celebrates the state’s diverse ecology. The park was designed by Tuck-Hinton Architects in collaboration with the landscape architecture firm Ross/Fowler.