NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A venue in downtown Nashville that typically hosts weddings and corporate events still stands after 149 years.
The Bell Tower is filled with more history than what first meets the eye.
If the walls could talk of the building on the corner of 4th Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard, then they’d certainly have a lot to say.
“First church built by freed slaves after the Civil War that’s still standing downtown, which is pretty amazing, because you don’t see many buildings standing downtown,” said Nathaniel Beaver, President and Owner of Infinity Hospitality.
The group now oversees the building turned event venue for almost ten years now. As time moves forward, they hope to still honor the past.
“It’s kind of fun to see the stories and to just walk around and see the original wood beams, and the choir lofts, that have literally been here since they laid the original flooring,” Beaver said.
So what’s the Backstory of the Bell Tower?
The building was one of the first churches in Nashville built by freed slaves after the Civil War. It was called Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.
After World War II, most of the neighborhood was demolished, but this structure was still standing.
It would go on to become everything from night clubs, warehouses and office buildings.
That is until singer-songwriter Brett James purchased the property in 2012 and by 2014 the bell was ringing again.
“You get a lot of event spaces, but where is the unique character, what makes it unique, you can make great events in a lot of spaces, but to come and see everything already set, and to see that rich character and the history that’s been here. That, you can’t just put a price on,” Beaver said.
From the exposed beams, natural light and original wood walls, Beaver said they’ve also put their own unique touch on the building.
“The tower that we’re directly under now, we opened it up, and opened it knocking the bricks out to expose it, and these are actually the bricks right here that we repurposed,” Beaver said.
That room has now become the Whiskey Tasting Room, ready to serve anyone, from weddings to corporate events, they hope to exist as a venue that can do it all.
All under the roof of one of Music City’s most iconic buildings.