Historic tourist attraction that predicted the modern shopping mall
"Shops and businesses line the sidewalk on either side. On the second level a balcony extends all around the four sides of the mall. Ornate iron grillwork lines the balcony not only for protection but decoration.
"It has changed remarkably little in the seventy years since its construction except for an elevator and a few streamlined facades, mostly on the ground floor.
"On the balconies of either end, billboards were used to advertise the wares of the tenants. These are no longer used."
"The Arcade opened in the spring of 1903 with Captain T.M.Steger as President. The opening day was a great social occasion with flags flying and Japanese lanterns gaily decorating the mall. For two decades following its opening, the Arcade was a center of social and recreational activities in Nashville.
"Some of the original shops were: The Ocean, Patterson's Novelty Shop, Blue Seal Baker, Bland's Fruit Stand. It has been said that the Arcade was a small town within a town, complete with its own mayor, where you could buy anything from a twelve cent hamburger to a $5,000 diamond."
Quotations from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form prepared by Mrs. Donald Drummond of the Jr. League of Nashville, Inc., January 5, 1972. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."