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. 

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Eagle-eyed visitors to Nashville's Civil War-era Fort Negley may have noticed something a little bit different about the United States flag that flies near the visitor's center. As Topher Fleming asks:

Why is there a 35 star flag flying over Ft Negley?

The simple answer is the 35 stars represent how many states there were at the time of the Civil War — just as the 50 stars on today's flag stand for the 50 states.

But Krista Castillo, the museum coordinator at Fort Negley, says the flag tells a deeper story about Nashville during the conflict.

Mack Linebaugh

Anyone who's driven through the intersection of Charlotte Pike and 51st Avenue in West Nashville has likely wondered some version of this Curious Nashville question from Katie Gonzalez:

Why does the Regions bank on Charlotte Pike have such an elaborate golden dome? When was the building built, and has it always been a bank?

Nashville glass recycling
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Inquiring minds — especially newcomers to Nashville — often wonder about the city’s recycling program. Now, spurred by a question submitted to WPLN’s Curious Nashville, there’s some news about an expansion of glass recycling and an explanation of its history here.

Anna Burtrico / WPLN

This question was submitted to Curious Nashville by DeWayne Holman:


Why doesn't Nashville have buildings taller than 615 feet when smaller cities have them?

Nashville Public Library Special Collections

There’s a small area of downtown Nashville — about 5 square blocks — that says a lot about how neighborhoods get their names.

These days, it’s SoBro. But 130 years ago, it was Black Bottom.

Nashville brick sewer tunnel
Metro Water Services

Many of Nashville’s tunnel rumors were tough to confirm as anything more than legend. But there are a few things underground that probably should inspire more awe: the city sewers.

David Ewing, a Nashville attorney and historian who has appeared on WPLN, is trying to stump us with a Curious Nashville question: What's up with with the Native American on the Metro seal, and why is he holding a human skull?

Nashville tunnel Cumberland River
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

We spent quite a bit of time shining flashlights around dark, cobwebby places over the past few weeks — because of Curious Nashville, a project in which we answer your questions about the city. 

Nashville tunnel Wilson Spring Storm Tunnel
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

There are so many tunnels beneath downtown Nashville that it’s almost hard to picture.

That’s why we’re tracking down plenty of actual pictures, along with firsthand accounts of what’s down there.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The winning question in our very first Curious Nashville voting round led us on a circuitous path — but we are pleased to say that we found the answer.