Curious Nashville | Nashville Public Radio

Curious Nashville

In Curious Nashville, we answer your questions about the city and Middle Tennessee region. We investigate oddities, share local history, tell stories of interesting people, and explain how local institutions operate. 

Periodically, we'll post a voting round where you help decide what we should investigate in our longform storytelling Curious Nashville podcast.

We also answer questions more frequently in web posts and radio stories — scroll down to see what we've already answered. 



*Special thanks to the SunTrust Foundation for providing technology funding for Curious Nashville. 

Curious Nashville PodX

Nashville may be known as Music City USA — and, for a few years now, also as the “it city” for tourism — but how did these nicknames begin?

And if we’re examining what the city is known for, what are the essentials of hot chicken? 

During the 1950s, checking the weather wasn’t as easy as it is today. But Nashville residents had one unusual option: to look at the city skyline.

Nashville Cold War communication center bomb shelter fallout
Jay Shah / WPLN

Out in the ridges and thick woods of West Nashville rests an epic remnant of Cold War history. But it is largely unknown.

It’s massive. Mostly underground. Once considered of the utmost importance to the state, but eventually ravaged by mold and vandals. It’s the defunct fallout shelter where Tennessee’s governors would have gone in the case of nuclear attack.

courtyard garden downtown Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

If there’s an unexpected place to find a courtyard garden in Nashville, it’s along First Avenue in downtown. Despite the riverfront access, this is a gritty street with the sensibility of an alley — where businesses have packages delivered and where a row of touristy bars keep their smelly trash cans.

No one really spends much time back there.

Samantha Max / WPLN

The crisis at the U.S. southern border has dominated headlines for weeks. But it can be hard to make sense of who exactly immigrates, and why.

Samantha Max / WPLN

La crisis en la frontera en el sur de los EE.UU ha dominado los titulares de las noticias por semanas. Sin embargo, puede ser difícil entender quién emigra a este país y por qué.

Lake Palmer Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

For about a decade, a massive Nashville tower project has mostly consisted of a construction pit — eight stories deep and carved into gray limestone like a quarry.

Randee Rogers Nashville

The question was about as straightforward as they get for Curious Nashville.

The MDHA training center named for Randee Rogers — who was she?

The training center is a red brick lump of a building, located in North Nashville, right across from the old Werthan Packaging building.

Farrell Road Warner Park Nashville
Olivia Rhee / WPLN

When hiking along one of the trails in Percy Warner Park, visitors may come across a wooden, waist-high sign that reads “Farrell Road.” It stands right next to the wide dirt path widely known as the Warner Woods Trail.

It appears to be anything but a road.

courtesy Meharry archives

WPLN's Curious Nashville project elicits many inquiries about the origins of street names. After multiple questions about Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard, it's time to tell the story of one of the most promising surgeons to ever teach at Meharry Medical College.