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Sylvia and Karl


Centennial Park Master Plan Now Underway

Ambitious six-phase process begins with restorations of water features throughout the park

Nashville, Tenn. (June 6, 2013) - Mayor Karl Dean, in partnership with Metro Parks and The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, today announced that dramatic renovations to Nashville's iconic Centennial Park are now underway. The announcement comes after an extensive planning process, which resulted in the 2011 release of a six-phase master plan to restore and enhance the park. Internationally renowned landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz is leading the project.

Phase 1 of the project will take two years to complete and revolves around restoration of existing water elements in Centennial Park including daylighting an untapped fresh water spring, Cockrill Spring, running beneath the park. The $6 million to execute Phase 1 has been secured through Metro Water Services, Metro Parks and over $1 million of private funding generated through The Conservancy.

Mayor Dean created the Centennial Park Master Planning Committee in 2008. There have been numerous public sessions for community input throughout the planning process.

"Since its creation in 1897, Centennial Park has been at the heart of our city as a prominent place for community, music, recreation and the arts," Mayor Dean said. "The design and vision planned for Centennial Park captures its rich history and reflects its future as a beautiful and sustainable centerpiece of our wonderful park system."

The design and execution of the Centennial Park Master Plan is being led by internationally renowned landscape architect firm, Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW), whose work includes the Peggy Guggenheim Sculpture Garden in Venice, Italy, the National Arboretum of New Zealand, Citygarden in St. Louis, and Hudson Yards in New York City.

During Phase 1, Cockrill Spring, a spring that flows clear and cold through an underground pipe, will be daylighted to create a stream and surface water feature in the front zone of the West End entrance to Centennial Park. This flowing stream will be accompanied by new gardens, groves and a meadow. In addition, a permanent outdoor performance venue for Musicians Corner will be integrated into Phase 1 to be located where the event is already taking place with temporary staging near the West End entrance. The new music venue will include a stage, infrastructure for sound and lighting, and a combination of fixed amphitheater seating and picnic lawn.

"The revitalization of Nashville's most popular park will not only restore some of the monumental historical elements of this beloved space, but also create innovative landscape features that will reflect our city's bright future going forward," said Metro Parks Director, Tommy Lynch. "We are so happy to begin the first phase of this important restoration project that will serve Nashville well into the future."

Phase 1 also includes the reorganization of roadways and parking lots by the Parthenon, and improving the water quality of Lake Watauga. By dredging the existing lake and pumping fresh water from Cockrill Spring, Lake Watauga will transform into a fresh flowing lake ensuring long term sustainability.

The expected date of completion for Phase 1 is May 2015.

Directed by Metro Parks, the improvements to Centennial Park are aided by The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, a nonprofit organization serving the community through stewardship and promotion of The Parthenon and Centennial Park.

"Nashville is known for its generous spirit and strong sense of community," said Sylvia Rapoport, president of The Conservancy. "The people who live in this city and love it never fail to step up in helping to make it a better place to live. We've seen it time and again at the Parthenon and Centennial Park, and we've already seen it for Phase One of the master plan. Now we look forward to seeking the help of the community as we work to make future phases a reality until the park is completely restored."

Centennial Park was first created to hold the Centennial Exposition of 1897, a six month event that brought nearly 2 million people to Nashville. Centennial Park was not only the start of Nashville's municipal park system, but park systems across the state.



The Parthenon's Frederic Church, The Wreck, featured at "Festival of the American Romantics"

The Wreck

The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York has asked to borrow the Parthenon's Frederic Church painting, The Wreck. The Fenimore is presenting an exhibition of the Hudson River School, Nature and the American Vision, from the New-York Historical Society from June 29 - September 29, 2013. This is the first time an exhibit of this magnitude is being shown in the landscape that inspired the artworks. The exhibition and programs coincide strategically with the Glimmerglass Festival presentation of Wagner's Flying Dutchman (using the American Wilderness as the setting), which was inspired by the Romantic landscape in Europe. This project presents 19th-century art and opera in the landscape that inspired them so that a broad audience can explore - in place, paint, and performance - the experience of the 19th century Romantics in the American wilderness. Historic Hyde Hall, an 1830's country estate on Otsego Lake, is one of the finest examples of romantic classicism in America, and a perfect setting for exploring Romantic literature.

By linking painting, opera, literature and New York's landscape, this collaboration will engage participants in an interdisciplinary understanding of art and place through the shared context of 19th-century Romantic interpretation in art and opera, and of place - both past and present. Individuals, whether they prefer museums and paintings, opera and music, or environment and landscape, will experience all six in a shared context rarely available to participants anywhere. All three institutions will be using our Frederic Church as the signature image for the entire program. This is wonderful exposure for The Parthenon!


Welcome to our new website!

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Have you noticed? We've changed our logo! We have also updated our Website to reflect a more versatile, useful, entertaining and innovative presence. We understand that you have limited time and want you to find what you need quickly and without frustration. We have revised our website to make it easy to navigate and move between pages, links and menus. We hope you like the new colors, style, alignments and visual elements. Special thanks to Otterball for their hard work on our stunning new site!




In a move to increase its availability to visitors, the Parthenon is now open on Sunday afternoons from 12:30 to 4:30 PM.

"The art we exhibit and the history we represent, both the local recent past and the ancient Greek past that is foundational to western civilization, deserve the widest possible audience," said Museum Director Wesley Paine; "Making the museum accessible on an additional day of the week, especially one that most people have for leisure activities, is part of a museum's role as an educational institution and is good public service, so we are very pleased with this change in our hours."

The Parthenon's hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM and Sunday, 12:30 - 4:30 PM.


The Blue Star Museum Program

For the third year, the Parthenon will participate in the Blue Star Museum program which offers free admission to active military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

View this fun video from 2012 and check back soon to start planning your Blue Star Museum summer! If you have questions or would like to become a Blue Star Museum, please email Desiree Moore.

For more information about the Blue Star Museum Program, click here.