Lee, TDEC Celebrate Bicentennial Capitol Mall’s 25 Anniversary
June 1, 2021 | Permalink
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Kim Schofinski (615) 571-3165
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
LEE, TDEC OFFICIALS CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY
OF BICENTENNIAL CAPITOL MALL STATE PARK, STATEHOOD DAY
NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner David Salyers celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and Statehood Day today.
“We are excited to celebrate one of our most unique state parks and the important role it plays in preserving our state’s history,” Gov. Lee said. “It provides a spectacular view of our historic State Capitol and depicts the remarkable story of our state. It is a top attraction for both Tennesseans and visitors from around the country.”
“The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is a distinctly urban state park,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “It is a centerpiece of an area that includes the State Capitol, the Tennessee State Museum and the new Library and Archives building. We are proud to celebrate the park’s 25th year.”
The park gives visitors a taste of Tennessee’s history and natural wonders and serves as a monument to the state’s bicentennial celebration, Statehood Day, June 1, 1996. Visitors to the 19-acre park enjoy a 200-foot granite map of the state, a World War II memorial, a 95-bell carillon, a Pathway to History feature, and the Rivers of Tennessee Fountains. Eleven planters along the Walkway of Counties show native plant species from across the state. A variety of events are held throughout the year, including ranger-led tours.
During the urban building boom in downtown Nashville during the late 1950s and early 1960s, many views of the Capitol became obstructed. The state park preserves a view of the Capitol from the north side.
In 1992, Tennessee formed a commission to plan and host community celebrations in all 95 Tennessee counties for the 1996 Bicentennial. The state developed the park, a reflection of the National Mall in Washington, and it was filled with native flora and monuments recognizing Tennessee’s diverse cultural heritage. On Saturday, June 1, 1996, a crowd gathered around the large granite map to celebrate Tennessee’s 200th birthday with speeches, readings, musical performances, cannons, fireworks, and military aircraft. Since that day, thousands of events have been held at the park.