Belmont Mansion is an Italian villa style house constructed between the years 1849 and 1859. Through the years, it has been the summer home for Nashville socialite Adelicia Acklen and her family, temporary headquarters of the Union army, and a women's college and seminary. One of the most elaborate antebellum homes in the South, the entire Belmont estate was built, furnished, and landscaped by the Acklens and included extensive gardens, an art gallery, a bowling alley, and a zoo.
The architecture of Belmont Mansion makes it one of the most significant homes of 19th century Tennessee. Sold by the Acklen family in 1887, the house went to a developer who began one of Nashville’s early suburbs. It was then purchased by two women who in 1890 started a college which evolved into Belmont University.
The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The following year, Belmont Mansion Association formed to maintain the house as a museum, own the collection, and share this unique story of 19th century Nashville with visitors from far and near. Operating revenues are generated through admissions, venue rentals, event fundraisers and individual and company donations.
Today the Belmont Mansion is known as:
One of the few large-scale 19th century Nashville homes still standing
A truly American house incorporating the talents & skills of African Americans and European immigrants
Home to a collection of art and decorative arts popular in 19th century America
A museum built upon a 50 plus year foundation of research and scholarship
An ongoing restoration project which serves as the basis for historically accurate presentations of the whole story of this 19th century household