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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens: A Nashville Treasure

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a historic estate and botanical garden that offers a unique blend of art, history, and natural beauty. Spanning 55 acres, Cheekwood is renowned for its stunning gardens, exquisite art exhibitions, and rich history, making it a beloved cultural destination for visitors of all ages. Information can be found here.

Historical Background

Cheekwood's origins date back to the early 20th century. The estate was originally the residence of Leslie and Mabel Cheek, prominent Nashville residents who made their fortune in the family business, the Maxwell House Coffee Company. In 1929, the Cheeks commissioned the construction of the Georgian-style mansion, which was completed in 1932. The design of the estate was influenced by the English country house tradition, reflecting the elegance and grandeur of that era. See here for information about Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park: A Tribute to Tennessee’s Rich History.

The Estate

The Mansion

The Cheekwood Mansion, a 30,000-square-foot residence, serves as the centerpiece of the estate. It has been meticulously preserved and restored, offering visitors a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Cheek family. The mansion now houses an art museum featuring a diverse collection of American art, including paintings, decorative arts, and sculptures. Temporary exhibitions rotate throughout the year, ensuring a dynamic and enriching experience for art enthusiasts.

The Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens at Cheekwood are a horticultural wonderland, encompassing a variety of themed gardens and natural landscapes. Some of the most notable include:

The Wills Perennial Garden:** A vibrant display of perennial plants that bloom in different seasons, providing year-round color and interest.

The Robertson Ellis Color Garden:** Known for its stunning seasonal displays of tulips, daffodils, and annuals, this garden is a favorite among visitors.

The Japanese Garden:** A serene and contemplative space featuring traditional Japanese landscaping elements such as stone lanterns, koi ponds, and meticulously pruned plants.

Seasonal Events and Exhibitions

Cheekwood is also celebrated for its seasonal events and exhibitions, which draw visitors from across the region. Notable events include:

Cheekwood in Bloom:** Each spring, the gardens come alive with over 150,000 blooming bulbs, including tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, creating a breathtaking floral display.

Holiday LIGHTS:** During the winter holiday season, Cheekwood transforms into a winter wonderland with over a million lights, festive decorations, and holiday-themed activities.

Educational and Cultural Impact

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens plays a vital role in Nashville's cultural and educational landscape. The estate offers a variety of educational programs for children and adults, including art classes, gardening workshops, and lectures. School groups frequently visit Cheekwood for field trips, where students can engage with art and nature in an interactive setting.

Cheekwood also hosts numerous cultural events, such as concerts, art fairs, and community festivals, which foster a sense of community and enrich the cultural fabric of Nashville.


Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is more than just a historic estate; it is a cultural and horticultural gem that offers a unique blend of art, history, and nature. With its beautifully preserved mansion, stunning gardens, and dynamic events and exhibitions, Cheekwood provides a tranquil and enriching experience for all who visit. Whether you are an art lover, a gardening enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Cheekwood is a Nashville treasure that continues to inspire and delight.


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