Printers Alley Historic District

Roughly bounded by 3rd and 4th Aves., Bank Alley, and both sides of Church St., Nashville, Tennessee

More than a dozen structures in the heart of Nashville's Central Business District.


Photo taken by Mike Page



Street View 


Printers Alley is so named because at one time, there were thirteen publishers and ten printers located in the area. These companies did not front on Printers Alley but the alley was the access point for deliveries. The area was laid out in the early 19th Century and by 1850, there were several newspapers, periodicals and religious documents printed here. The concerns were serviced by Black Horse Alley, which became better known as Printers Alley.

In the late 18th Century, an area known as the Mens District as part of the area became known. It was a one-block area with saloons, billiard parlors, furnishings, cigar and tobacco stores, barbershops, loan offices, bathhouses, and restaurants. It was a place where no respectable lady would ever be seen. Although the area came to an end after the turn of the twentieth century, it is rumored that a speakeasy operated in a basement during prohibition. Today, Printers Alley is known worldwide as a center of entertainment and nightlife.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 26, 1982
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian: Italianate; Victorian: Queen Anne; Victorian: Romanesque
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Entertainment/Recreation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Hotel; Restaurant; Financial institution
Current functions
Music facility; Hotel; Financial institution; Restaurant
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 12
Non-contributing buildings: 2


Davidson County, Tennessee (205)
District (10,528)
Have Street View (46,966)
Italianate (5,114)
Nashville, Tennessee (141)
Private owner (54,398)
Queen Anne (5,131)
Romanesque (2,722)
Stone (26,160)
Stucco (7,816)
Tennessee (2,890)
Victorian (19,698)

Update Log 

  • September 22, 2020: New photo from Bill Eichelberger
  • March 22, 2020: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • March 22, 2020: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos
  • December 24, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
  • March 6, 2011: New Street View added by Mike Page