Centennial Park was originally built for Tennessee’s 1987 Centennial Exposition. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A General view, of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition, shows Parthenon, Memphis Pavilion, and other buildings, Nashville, 1897
Many cities and organizations built buildings and exhibit halls on the Exposition grounds. Among the most prominent were those of Nashville and Memphis. Nashville designed its pavilion after the Parthenon in Greece due to the city’s nickname as The Athens of the South. Memphis’s exhibit, in honor of its Egyptian name, was a large pyramid.
The Negro Building, Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, 1897
The Negro Building on the Exposition grounds was intended to show the progress being made by a people liberated from slavery only 30 years earlier.
Mayor Karl Dean’s Centennial Park Restoration Committee
“This committee is dedicated to making Centennial Park not only the signature park in Nashville, but also a model for great inner-city parks across the country.”
Mayor Karl Dean
Last November Mayor Karl Dean appointed a committee to oversee the restoration of Centennial Park. The park, which was the site of the 1897 Centennial Exposition, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Exposition was the catalyst for municipal park systems here and across the state,” Dean said. “But despite its historic significance and prominent location in our city, the monuments, historic architecture, and grounds of Centennial Park are in great need of repair.”
George Anderson,who is the chair of the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, chairs the mayor’s committee. Nicholas S. Zeppos, chancellor of Vanderbilt University, serves as honorary chair. “Centennial Park is a Nashville treasure that is an incredible destination and resource for faculty, staff, students and visitors of Vanderbilt, and I am honored to work on the restoration of this historic site that includes classical ties to my Greek ancestors,” Zeppos said.
The committee is charged with overseeing the restoration of Centennial Park, starting with the development of a master plan for the park. The next meeting of the mayor’s Centennial Park Restoration Committee will be held Wednesday, June 3 at 11:30 a.m. in the West Gallery at The Parthenon.