Gallery: Music City Center, Inside And Out

Mayor Karl Dean gave a press tour of the soon-to-open Music City Center on Wednesday. We sent photographer Stephen Jerkins along to give you a sneak peak. Here’s a slideshow:

The project employed more than twice as many construction workers as originally anticipated. About a quarter of the money went to small contracting firms or those that are owned by women or minorities. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe exhibit hall is 350,000 square feet, approximately eight acres. Etched into the floor are 10x10 boxes for trade shows. The ceiling is sturdy enough that cars can hang from the rafters. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe Grand Ballroom is the largest in the state at 57,500 square feet. It's designed to feel like the inside of an acoustic guitar. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe grand opening of Music City Center is scheduled for Sunday and Monday, with concerts and speakers. Credit: Stephen JerkinsHarley Card works for a company hired to clean every square inch of the 1.2 million square foot building. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe convention center's kitchen is led by executive chef Max Knoepfel, who has a menu of 290 items. Credit: Stephen JerkinsRich Boyd was the senior art consultant, helping oversee a $2 million budget and commissioning eight site-specific pieces. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe Music City Center kitchen is capable of producing more than 20,000 meals a day. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe four-acre green roof is part form, part function. It acts as good insulation and absorbs rain water. Architects wanted something to mimic the state's rolling hills. Credit: Stephen JerkinsNashville Mayor Karl Dean plays tour guide for dozens of journalists on Wednesday. He has made the Music City Center a halmark of his time in office. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe building spans six city blocks, and 6th Avenue cuts right through the middle of the building. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThis is one of the commissioned pieces of art, meant to remind people of pieces for building a model airplane. Credit: Stephen JerkinsStorm water runoff is collected in a 360,000 gallon water cistern under the northeast pedestrian plaza. The water is then used to flush 500 toilets and irrigate the outdoor landscaping. Credit: Stephen JerkinsThe art comes from 52 artists. Almost all of them are from Tennessee. Credit: Stephen JerkinsArchitects say they designed the building so visitors could orient themselves with the rest of downtown. Instead of windowless hallways, conventioneers get a view of the city. Credit: Stephen Jerkins

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