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History and Art at the Arcade
Daniel Carter Buntin returned from a trip to Italy inspired by the Galleria Arcade in Milan and began a corporation to build Nashville's first covered shopping center in a similar style in 1902. Constructed in what was then known as Overton Alley between 4th and 5th Avenues, the two-story, open-ended Arcade was designed by Nashville architectural firm Thompson, Gibel, and Asmus. It was built in less than a year by Edgefield and Nashville Construction Company [1; 2]. The steel bracing for the gabled glass roof was installed by the Nashville Bridge Company . The second floor features a wrap-around balcony with decorative iron grillwork . When the Greek Revival style building held its grand opening in 1903, over 40,000 people attended (roughly one-third of the county's population at the time) . Captain T. M. Steger served as the Arcade's first President, and some of the original shops included The Ocean, Patterson's Novelty Shop, Blue Seal Bakery, and Bland's Fruit Stand . The Walgreens drugstore at the Arcade was part of the 1960 Nashville Civil Rights sit-in protest . It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.
Today, the Arcade can house up to fifty tenants, thanks to the purchase of surrounding properties for expansion. The first floor contains primarily retail and restaurants, with shops, offices, and a number of art galleries on the second floor. Art at the Arcade is an organization of some of the resident artists, gallery owners, and shops who are working toward the creation of an art district in downtown Nashville . The Arcade is also home to a curational organization, The Coop, which is a group of artists, curators, and professors working to present underrepresented, new, and challenging artists to the community. In addition, the Arcade participates in Nashville's free monthly First Saturday Art Crawl from 6 pm - 9 pm. More than twenty downtown galleries participate .
Sources1. The Arcade Nashville. Official website. Accessed July 20, 2016. http://thenashvillearcade.com.
Nashville, TN 37219
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