The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the world's largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music. Chartered in 1964, the museum has amassed one of the world's most extensive musical collections.
Early in the 1960s, as the Country Music Association's campaign to publicize country music was accelerating, CMA leaders determined that a new organization was needed to operate a country music museum and to carry out research and education activities beyond CMA's scope as a trade organization. Thus, the nonprofit Country Music Foundation (CMF) was chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964 to collect, preserve, and publicize information and artifacts relating to the history of country music.
In May of 2001 the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum moved to its new facility in the heart of the downtown arts and entertainment district so that it would be more accessible. Later in 2014, after a $100 million expansion, the museum was doubled in size - the space now 350,000 square feet of galleries, arrival storage, classrooms, stores and event space.
When viewed from the air, the building forms a massive bass clef. The point on the sweeping arch of the building suggests the tailfin of a 1959 Cadillac sedan. The building's front windows resemble piano keys. The tower on top of the Rotunda that extends down the Hall of Fame is a replica of the distinctive diamond-shaped WSM radio tower, which was originally built in 1932 just south of Nashville and is still in operation.
Solid, earthy materials native to the Mid-South—wood, concrete, steel, and stone—were used in the building's construction as a reminder of the music's strong roots in the lives of working Americans. Georgia yellow pine adorns the floors of the Conservatory and is also found in the Hall of Fame Rotunda the Ford Theater. Crab Orchard Stone from the East Tennessee mountains lend a homey, rustic touch to the Conservatory's "front porch" atmosphere and is also found on the Rotunda's walls.
Cover image in the public domain. Information courtesy of Wikipedia.