Join Historic Nashville Inc. for a members only tour of the 1851 Egyptian Revival Downtown Presbyterian Church!
Presbyterians have worshiped at the corner of Fifth and Church since 1814. In that year the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville built their first structure. which burned down in 1832. Rebuilding in that year, on the same site, the second building hosted the Inauguration of James K. Polk as Governor of Tennessee. That building burned down in 1848. The congregation then hired the Philadelphia architect William Strickland, who was in Tennessee to design and supervise the construction of the Tennessee State Capitol building, to design the present building.
During the Civil War the building was seized by the United States government, and used as a hospital. The columns were put in place in 1871, as well as the entablature. In 1880, the interior was reconfigured and decorated. During the great floods of 1927 and 1937, flood victims were sheltered in the church. Soldiers on leave in Nashville during World War II slept in the church by the thousands during that war.
By 1954, the First Church congregation was thinking of leaving the city and moving out to the suburbs. By vote they did so, and through the encouragement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and local efforts, they were convinced not to tear down the building for a parking garage site. Instead, they were prevailed upon to sell it to their own members who did not wish to leave Downtown Nashville. In 1955 The Downtown Presbyterian Church was formed. It has continued to minister to the needs of the city from this prime location.
Join other HNI members on February 10 for a behind-the-scenes tour of this fascinating space and its preservation story. Our tour guide will be church historian Jim Hoobler, retired Senior Curator of Art & Architecture at the Tennessee State Museum. You can read more about the building here.
Please note: you must be a current HNI member to go on this tour. You can renew your membership here: https://www.historicnashvilleinc.org/get-involved/membership/
If you are unsure of your membership status, please email email@example.com. Attendees with lapsed or no memberships will be billed.
Due to limited capacity at the venue, this is a free but ticketed event for HNI members.