Located in downtown Nashville, this streetscape lies directly west of the city’s renowned Lower Broadway. What was initially called Broad Street was one of the first streets in the city to be laid out on an east-west axis, then running from the Cumberland River to 21st Avenue. Throughout the nineteenth century, the street was populated with hardware stores, feed stores, and other commercial venues. By the turn of the century, as Nashville became a major trading and manufacturing center, the city’s economic success was reflected in the development of several large-scale buildings along this stretch of roadway.
Running from Fifth to Eleventh Avenue, Upper Broadway is a six-lane road framed by a combination of contemporary and historic structures. The street’s historic buildings, six of which have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, date from the turn of the century to the postwar era and include religious, civic, and commercial institutions built in a variety of architectural styles, such as neoclassical, neogothic, and Modernist. Situated on the south side of the street is the Customs House (1875), the Estes Kefauver Federal Building (1952), the Frist Art Museum (1934), and the Union Station Hotel (1900), while Hume Fogg High School (1911) and Christ Church Cathedral (1894) are located along the north. The buildings were built predominantly with regional stone. A contemporary convention center and sports arena occupy the west corners of Fifth Avenue. Generous cement sidewalks border the roadway, at times lined with historic parapets and balustrades, periodically planted with deciduous street trees and punctuated by ornate, double-lobed lampposts.