Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Fall 2022


O'More College of Architecture and Design



BURS Faculty Advisor

Anthony Monica

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Architecture is the manifestation of artistic expression which can serve as both a storytelling device and a mechanism to evoke an intentional emotional reaction of its occupants. The Nashville Trail of Tears Memorial is intended to reflect the story of the Cherokee nation and give visitors the opportunity to consider the horrific journeys taken. The Trail of Tears was the route taken by many Native Americans following the forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of their lands, leaving many dead and families separated. Native to the southern part of the Appalachian chain, the Cherokee tribe is the group of people that once called the land of Nashville their home. Understanding their culture and what was of importance to them is key in designing an ethical and respectful museum in their honor. This presentation will outline examples of the Cherokees religious beliefs, cultural values, and architectural traditions, and how these ideas can be integrated into architecture. This project honors the Cherokees' spiritual beliefs by weaving through the trees on the site such that there is a light touch on the earth and no harm to the land. Additionally, the tradition of basket weaving is reflected in the exposed structure of the roof just like that of vernacular Cherokee homes.