National Register of Historic Places
By the mid-nineteenth century, Nashville was the second largest city west of the Appalachian Mountains. Steamboats lined the dock below Fort Nashborough, and wholesale grain, cotton, and tobacco merchants built warehouses in the blocks between Market Street (now Second Avenue) and Front Street (now First Avenue). The block-deep Victorian warehouses handled bulk quantities of dry goods, hardware, and groceries, shipped down the Cumberland River, unloaded and received in the Front Street entrances facing the river, and sold from the storefronts on Market Street. As shipping on the Cumberland declined, the buildings fell into disuse or were used only as warehouses. During the 1970s, Nashville’s interest in renovation and restoration led to the opening of restaurants and shops in the century-old buildings. More recently, resurgence in downtown living has seen many of the upper floors converted to loft apartments or condominiums.