Places

History of the Nashville Downtown Presbyterian Church

Nashville’s downtown Presbyterian Church is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. The church was built in 1820 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is known for its beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. The church also has a rich history, and has been a part of Nashville’s downtown community for over 200 years.

History

The Nashville downtown Presbyterian Church has a long and rich history. The church was founded in 1820, and is one of the oldest churches in Nashville. The church is known for its beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. The church also has a rich history, and has been a part of Nashville’s downtown community for over 200 years.

Architecture

The Nashville downtown Presbyterian Church is known for its beautiful architecture designed by William Strickland. The church was built in 1820, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is known for its beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. The church also has a rich history, and has been a part of Nashville’s downtown community for over 200 years.

The interior of the church was originally designed in a monochromatic style, but between 1880 and 1882 an Egyptian Revival detailing was added. This included lotus blossom capitals for each column as well their own sculpted wings—the iconic disk of Amon-Ra himself sits atop one winged angel.

The church was originally designed to seat 1,500 people but after 1880 it housed a trompe l’oeil painting depicting the Temple of Karnak that gave the illusion of being in heaven. The painting was designed by William Davis together with fresco painters and artisans Theo Knoch and John Schliecher. Seating capacity for the sanctuary was reduced to 900 as the interior was modified. Stained glass windows were added in 1887–1888.

The Downtown Presbyterian Church During the Civil War

The church has been through a lot in its history. During the Civil War, it served as both hospital and stable for soldiers. Post-war repairs were completed with government funding. In 1919, Nashville architect Henry C. Hibbs built a four-story Classical Revival Sunday school addition to the building. Later, steel beams and concrete were added onto the existing structure to strengthen and help secure the integrity of the building.

The Downtown Presbyterian Church as a Space for Social Activism

The Downtown Presbyterian Church has always been an important site of social activism. This church, which also houses a number of other denominations and organizations in its facilities including Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1907, the Southern Sociological Congress and Workman’s Registration Bureau in the 1910s, and the Board on World Missions used this space extensively until recent years. Flood victims in 1927 and World War II soldiers were housed in the church for a time.

The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville Today

The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville has been a hub for community activity since it was established over half a century ago. In 1955, the majority moved to Oak Hill and took their former church with them- naming this new location “First Presbiterian.” Today meals are served weekly alongside several other social services provided by volunteers who want nothing more than to see people get back up on their feet again!