Said to be one of Nashville’s greatest hidden gems, the 19-acre park, located in the northwestern part of downtown Nashville was built in honor of Tennessee’s 200th year of statehood. The state park offers education about Tennessee’s rich history and natural, serene beauty.
The APAs designation of Great Public Spaces is part of the APAs Great Places in America program. The program, which began in 2007, recognizes unique and noteworthy streets, neighborhoods and public spaces each year. The APA also adds that Great Places in America have been shaped by forward thinking planning that showcases diverse architectural styles, promotes community involvement and accessibility and fosters economic activity.
Bicentennial Park was sought out for the Great Public Spaces designation for its unique design and interpretive elements that don’t only provide insight into Tennessee’s history but also artfully frame the State Capitol building. The site, which was formerly a landfill, was transofmred in 1996 into a serene and picturesque area for recreational use.
Historically speaking, the state park tells the story of Tennessee’s rich history through its 19 acres. The park has the Court of Three Stars, made of red, white and blue granite to represent the state’s three Grand Divisions as well as a 95-bell carillon, representing the state’s 95 counties and honoring Tennessee’s rich musical heritage. Also found at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is the Wall of History, time capsules from each Tennessee county, a World War II Memorial, a 200-foot granite state map, a display of the state’s major rivers as well as an outdoor amphitheater.
If you have never visited the park, be sure to stop by to enjoy its historical offerings as well as large spaces for recreational use. For more information, visit its website here.
The other nine recognized Public Spaces were Fairmount Park in Riverside, Calif., Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monument Circle in Indianpolis, Ind., Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines, Iowa, Rice Park in St. Paul, Minn., Fair Park in Dallas, Tex., Maymont Park in Richmond, Virg., Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Wash. and Milwaukee RiverWalk in Milwaukee, Wis.