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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Grand Guitar
Reference Number 14000057
State Tennessee
County Sullivan
Town Bristol
Street Address 3245 West State Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 3/11/2014
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE
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The Grand Guitar, completed in 1983, is eligible for listing in the National Register under criterion C as a locally and regionally significant example of mimetic architecture. Designed by Bristol musician and entrepreneur Joe Morrell, the seventy-foot long replica of a Martin Dreadnought guitar was built as a museum, recording studio/radio station, and store. The building began drawing interest from travelers even before it opened for business. Although the exterior siding has been changed, the Grand Guitar still retains its character defining features including the saddle bridge, sound hole, pick guard, finger board, turning keys, and strings. The interior has not been altered and the building retains its architectural integrity. The Grand Guitar is not yet fifty years old but it has exceptional significance as mimetic architecture that represents the character of Bristol's association with country music. Located at the edge of the city, adjacent to an Interstate, and just off an Interstate exit, the building serves as the unofficial entry to Bristol, the official -Birthplace of Country Music-.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria