The center section of the park features a 2,000-seat amphitheater, composed of terraced lawns providing dramatic views of the State Capitol building. Its design is patterned after Greek amphitheaters, such as the one at Epidaurus. This will be the site of many special events, ceremonies and concerts for years to come. Groups may reserve the amphitheater for a fee.
Historical significance with the urban building boom in downtown Nashville during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Tennessee State Capitol disappeared from sight on the east, west and south sides. The northern side of the Capitol was not conducive to the construction of skyscrapers due to the swampy conditions that existed in many areas between the Capitol and the Cumberland River. Ironically, the historic French Lick that attracted wildlife, Indians, trappers and settlers to what would become Nashville also preserved the remaining view of the Capitol and became the home of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. In order to save the one remaining view of the Capitol and to commemorate Tennessee's 200th birthday, the concept of a mall similar to the one in Washington, DC, took shape.