Tennessee State Capitol
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Original Architect: William Strickland
National Historic Landmark
Construction of the Tennessee State Capitol commenced in 1845 to designs prepared by William Strickland. The building was substantially complete by 1859, however, several alterations followed during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By the early 1980’s, a number of modern elements had been added and the appearance of the historic interiors were seriously compromised.
The Tennessee State Government retained MCWB to prepare a historic structure report. Research for the report included an extensive paint analysis and examination of historic photographs and inventories. This investigation led to the development of recommendations for the restoration of paint schemes, carpets, draperies, and furnishings. Additional recommendations focused on circulation within the building, adaptive use of service spaces in the basement for expanded office space, repairs, maintenance, restoration of Capitol Park, and phasing of the project.
The former State Library was the first phase of restoration. It was determined that the room, used as a legislative lounge, should be restored to its original appearance while allowing for continued use as a reception space. Based on historic photographs and the paint analysis; an inventory was prepared of elements for repair, replacement, or re-creation and an appropriate paint scheme determined. The work included restoration of the painted plaster ceiling, replacement of missing cabinets, bookcases, and other elements; including gold leaf and gilt curtain cornices, and installation of new draperies. The original gasolier was disassembled, cleaned, re-plated and fitted with new glass globes to replace those that were missing.