Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Father Of Nashville's City Parks - Major Eugene Castner Lewis

  Major Eugene Castner Lewis was born in Clarksville Tennessee in 1845 and he died in 1917. He became an industrial engineer for the Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railroad. In 1895 he was tasked to design a worlds fair in what is now Centennial Park in Nashville, which at the time was a horse racing track. The fair would celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the state of Tennessee in 1896 but was unable to open until 1897. It was one of the most successful worlds fair of all time in that it made a profit rather than a loss. It was visited by thousands of people including President William Mckinley. The center painting shows what the fair might have looked like from the air. West Tennessee was represented by a giant pyramid because Memphis was named after the ancient Egytian city by the same name. Nashville was nicknamed the Athens of the South and a giant plaster of Paris replica of the Parthenon was built. It was so popular with Nashvillian's it was the only building that wasn't torn down after the fair. The permanent building that exists now was started in 1920 and finished in 1931. The third picture is of Maj. Lewis's tomb in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville which is shaped like a pyramid.

Map of the Centennial Exposition
Shelby Park

Shelby Park

My father and his 1st wife Mamie at Shelby Park

No comments:

Post a Comment