The Smith House has been a downtown Nashville landmark on 8th Avenue/Rosa Parks Blvd since 1843. That year, John Tyler was in office as the 10th President of the United States. Future President William McKinley was born. And lawmakers voted Nashville the permanent capital of Tennessee. Since then, the Smith House has been part private home, part boarding house, part social club and part of the fabric of Nashville's storied political, social and cultural history.
In 1862, Union officers commandeered the property and used the prominent 2nd floor library as planning headquarters for the Battle of Nashville. Even then the exquisite food, hospitality and atmosphere helped kept these visitors from the North in residence for over two years.
In 1881 a prominent New York banker bought the house as a residence and later leased the home to an affluent and suddenly thriving social club called The Standard Club. Members installed the grand ballroom in 1895 to host Nashville’s high society for drinks, cigars and entertainment along with Nashville's first bowling alley, built beneath the ballroom and featuring the ornate tin ceiling still visible today.
Since then, The Standard has played host to literally hundreds of famous Tennesseans who either lived, dined, danced, relaxed or filmed music videos (like Allison Krauss and Brad Paisley's "Whiskey Lullaby" which won the Country Music Association’s Music Video of the Year in 2004.) And in 2005, Joshua Smith and his family restored the property to its Victorian-era glory – first as their home, then as the award-winning Smith House restaurant downstairs and the prohibition-style Standard Club on the upper floors.
Today the home itself has six bedrooms and bathrooms on three floors, with two grand parlors, a formal dining room, breakfast room, large kitchen, outdoor courtyard, a grand ballroom for 200 guests, two trap doors, a secret room and a tunnel under 8th Avenue rumored to have been part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.
If you want a personal tour, just ask. We're always honored to show guests our historic home with all its storied history and lore – including the famous fireplace mantle that presided over the "remarriage" of President Andrew Jackson to Rachel Donnelson at the Hermitage Hotel in 1794 – now located in our grand ballroom.