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Castner-Knott Building

Category:   History and Architecture Tour


616-618 Church St
Nashville, TN 37219

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Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Nashvillians Charles Castner and William Knott founded the Castner-Knott Dry Goods Company in 1898. Their 1906 move to a new five-story building at the corner of 7th Avenue and Church Street led the westward commercial expansion onto formerly residential property. This Classical Revival-style building at 618 Church Street lured shoppers with 10 by 12 foot plate glass windows, a covered carriage entrance, and coffered ceilings. In 1911, Castner-Knott expanded the store to include the Armstrong Building, an Italianate building fronting on Church Street and Capitol Boulevard. During a 1958-1959 renovation directed by the Nashville firm of Marr and Holman, all levels of the two buildings were connected, the storefront windows were covered in polished granite panels, a corner entry was added at Church Street and Capitol Boulevard, and the first floor interiors were redesigned with Art Moderne details. A 1999 renovation uncovered many of the building’s historic details, including the original façade which had been covered by modern steel panels in 1979.

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