The Tennessee State Capitol stands today much as it did when it first opened in 1859. This graceful structure was designed by noted architect William Strickland who considered it his crowning achievement. When Strickland died suddenly during construction in 1854, he was buried in the north facade of the Capitol. The cornerstone for the building was laid on July 4, 1845, and construction finished in 1859. The grounds of the State Capitol contain statues honoring Sam Davis, Sgt. Alvin York, and Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The tombs of President and Mrs. James K. Polk are also located on the Capitol grounds. The first acknowledgment inside the State Capitol of the successful ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, was unveiled in February 1998 - Alan LeQuire's bas-relief sculpture that hangs between the House and Senate Chambers.
Guided tours are available on Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m., beginning at the Information Desk on the first floor. Groups of ten or more should make a reservation prior to their visit by calling the Public Programs Department at (615)741-0830 or toll-free 800-407-4324.