Yes, the Parthenon sits proudly in the southern American city of Nashville, Tennessee. But this Parthenon doesn’t lie in ruins like its ancient counterpart on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. And it’s just a little under one hundred and twenty years old. How did this full-scale reproduction come to be built in the capital city of Tennessee? Inspired by the city’s nickname of “Athens of the South”, The Parthenon was originally a temporary pavilion constructed of plaster, wood and brick for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition held in 1897. The cost of demolishing it combined with its popularity with residents and visitors alike resulted in it being left standing after the fair was over. A project started in 1920 to rebuild the structure on the same foundations using concrete. The exterior was completed in 1925 and the interior in 1931.
Today, the building is an art museum displaying the work of 19th- and 20-century American artists and also serves as a backdrop for classic Greek plays performed on its steps during the summer. The Parthenon was restored in 2002 with a much-needed exterior cleaning plus upgraded outdoor lighting which illuminate the columns with different colors than the façade.