The Mansion

235 Years of History

Belle Air Mansion is a historic and civic landmark about 5 ½ miles from downtown Nashville. Built in 1832, Belle Air is one of the few remaining Greek Revival antebellum mansions in Nashville.

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Belle Air is significant because of its architecture. Representative of the great houses of the well-to-do Southern landowners in the first half of the nineteenth century, it remains as an example of these houses which once were abundant but have now mostly disappeared from the scene.

It was important that Belle Air be preserved for the benefit of those who might not otherwise be able to come in contact with such an example of architecture of the Old South. Many families prominent in the social and economic development of Nashville have either lived in or been entertained in Belle Air.

After a challenging but rewarding restoration process, we're excited to announce that Belle Air is almost ready to open to the public! The mansion has always been a private residence, but now it's been transformed into a bed and breakfast for visitors to enjoy.

Timeline

1784: The Beginning

In 1790, James Mulherin built his home on a parcel of land granted to him in 1784. Belle Air began as a four-room structure made of hand-made brick with lime and horsehair mortar.

1832: Belle Air Comes to Life

The main building was built c. 1832 by Joseph Clay and Elizabeth Harding, on land given to them by her father, John Harding of Belle Meade.

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1838: Expansion

The mansion was sold in 1838 to banker William Nichol and his wife Julia Lytle, who expanded the Federal-style house with one story wings and added Greek Revival ornamentation.

1971: Protected from Progress

Following the Briley Parkway construction of the 1960s, Belle Air was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

2014: An Endangered Treasure

In 2014, Belle Air was listed on “Historic Nashville” as one of Nashville’s 9 most endangered properties. The property was listed for sale, drawing interest from developers who wanted to tear it down.

2016: Restoration

We (Lewis and Connie James) purchased the property in August of 2016, embarking on a long but rewarding journey to restore the mansion to its former glory.

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2019: Open to the Public

We are now nearing completion of the restoration project, and we can't wait to share Belle Air with the world.

Belle Air Today

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Our restoration of the property has been handled with the utmost care and the deepest respect for Belle Air's history. From its stunning chandeliers to the original rosewood doors, visiting the mansion is sure to take you on a journey back in time.

To take a look inside and get the latest updates on our grand opening, please visit our Bed & Breakfast page.