For those of you who are not involved in judging the daffodil show, consider a wonderful optional tour on Friday of The Parthenon and The Hermitage and lunch. Below are detailed descriptions of both of this Nashville landmarks. Box lunches will be provided in the Cabin by the Spring which overlooks a wooded glen with the Jackson family’s original stone Spring House.
The Parthenon is located in Centennial Park, Nashville’s premier urban park. The re-creation of the 42-foot Athena statue inside the Parthenon is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece and is a sight to see! The building and the Athena statue are both full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals. Nashville’s nickname, the “Athens of the South”, influenced the choice of the building of the first Nashville Parthenon for the centerpiece of the 1897 Centennial Exposition.
The Hermitage is the presidential mansion of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. In 1804, Andrew Jackson purchased a 425-acre farm that would become The Hermitage. The original structure of the mansion was a brick, Federal-style house constructed between 1819 and 1821. In 1819, Andrew Jackson hired the English gardener William Frost to plan a garden designed as a typical, foursquare English garden with four quadrants and circular center beds planted with flowers, herbs, shrubs, vines, vegetables, berries and fruit trees. Rachel Jackson died in 1828 before Andrew’s inauguration in 1829. Andrew had her buried in the garden covered by a small grave house. In 1831 during Jackson’s presidency, the Hermitage was extensively remodeled and a tomb modeled after a Grecian monument replaced Rachel’s grave house. The current 13-room Greek Revival style mansion was built after a chimney fire seriously damaged the original mansion in 1834. After his death in 1845 Andrew Jackson was buried next to his wife.