An impressive and beautiful new residential area was developed in the 1890s and came to be known as “Acklen” or “West End Park”. Originally built on 140 acres that included four access gates and a stone porter’s lodge, the first home completed on the site was a turreted Victorian Mansion crafted for Joseph Hayes Acklen, son of Adelicia Acklen.
Mother Acklen was one of the antebellum South’s wealthiest women. With profits from 8,700 acres of Louisiana cotton land, she built Belmont Mansion, otherwise known as Acklen Hall, that today functions as a museum on the campus of Belmont University.
Joseph Hayes Acklen’s mansion was built on the crest of a hill overlooking West End Avenue, which would rapidly become the grandest of the boulevards within Nashville’s suburbs.
Acklen Park would be advertised as the “garden spot of this Queen City of the South” and villas there stood overlooking the royal metropolis below. Well-graded roads wound around the hillside and allowed for easy access to the elevated perch, which was featured to provide a “delightful (summer) climate” and “freedom from dust and smoke” of the city.
All that remains today, of Acklen Park’s original architecture is the Blackstone apartment building; mere vestiges of its massive stone walls and the ornamental lawn designed to keep the park-like development pristine and the public at bay.
It is in celebration of this rich history that we at Acklen continue the tradition of grand excellence that began so many years ago.