Much has changed in Music City’s 217-year history. Get ready to do a double take — we’ve scoured through the archives to find postcards of old Nashville and what each place looks like today.
Church Street, circa 1940 vs. Now
Let’s start with one of the busiest corridors in Nashville’s history — and it’s not Broadway. Church Street was the main avenue for retail business during the Great Depression and World War II. Popular spots along the street today include the Nashville Public Library’s Main branch, Puckett’s, and E+Rose Wellness.
Union Street, 1920s vs. Now
Now, let’s travel back 100 years to Union Street. In this postcard, businesses such as clothing store L.H. Brooks line both sides of the street. Today, this stretch of Union Street is surrounded by TPAC, parking garages, and office towers.
Davidson County Courthouse, 1910 vs. Now
The Metro Courthouse that stands today wasn’t the city’s first. In fact, the building on the left was Davidson County’s third courthouse. It was designed by Francis Strickland (the son of State Capitol architect William Strickland) and served as the epicenter of Nashville for 80 years. It was demolished in 1935 and replaced two years later by the present Metro Courthouse.
Cumberland River, 1922 vs. Now
The Cumberland River played a vital role in the development of Nashville, and continues to be an important waterway for transportation and recreation. This view from the early 20th century is similar to what you would see today — a line of businesses along 1st Avenue and boats visible near the river bank.
Glendale Park, 1908 vs. Now
From 1897 to 1932, Glendale Park was a 64-acre trolley park at the intersection of Caldwell and Lealand lanes. You likely wouldn’t recognize this park today, as homes now occupy much of the former site. For 5 cents, you could ride the trolley from anywhere in Nashville to enjoy the park’s zoo, roller rink, casino, merry-go-round, roller coaster, and croquet grounds.
Hume-Fogg High School, 1930-45 vs. Now
Hume-Fogg High School stands on the site of the city’s first public school. The building spans a block of Broadway and was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974. A gymnasium was added on in 2015.