Built in 1911, as part of the Gray & Dudley Hardware Company, 227 2nd Avenue served as a denim factory on what had previously been called Market Street. The surrounding buildings — including the 1922 Federal Reserve Building facing 3rd Avenue and the 1890 Washington Building across the street — nod to the importance of this central business district at the turn of the 20th century.
Then known as Printers Alley, this area was incredibly popular for its convenient location alongside the public square and Cumberland River shipping ports. It was home to many Victorian-era commercial buildings as well as numerous saloons, which became clandestine speakeasies when Prohibition went into effect in 1909. Many of those same establishments would rise to prominence as nightclubs in the following decades. Over the years, performers such as Boots Randolph, Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Dottie West, The Supremes, Hank Williams, Barbara Mandrell and Jimi Hendrix would cement Nashville's Music City legacy.