Monday, May 27, 2013

Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian

  The present Downtown Presbyterian Church on Church Street in Nashville was built in 1848 after a fire destroyed the second church that had been built on this site. The first church was built in 1816 but it burned down in 1832. General Andrew Jackson was presented with a ceremonial sword after his victory at New Orleans on the front steps of the first church and was also a member. James K. Polk was inaugurated Governor of Tennessee in the second sanctuary. The present church was built by William Strickland in Egyptian Revival Architecture. Strickland also designed the Tennessee State Capital and is buried in the wall there. After the Union Army captured Nashville in 1862 along with becoming a supply center it became the leading medical center in the western theater. The Downtown Presbyterian, which was called First Presbyterian then, became Hospital #8 and it had 206 beds. Nashville hospitals were filled to capacity after such battles as Stones River, Franklin, and Nashville.
William Strickland

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