Documenting History: The building sits in a somewhat undeveloped area of Nashville, Tennessee. It was built in about 1913 and was used by the Tennessee Masons as a group home of sorts for widows and their children. The money to allow orphans and their mothers to stay in the property came from a fund that was developed in 1886. At one point the four story home and two other buildings on the campus had 400 residents that included widows, their children and the elderly.
In 1941, the State of Tennessee used the massive structure that looks like a mansion as a hospital to treat patients with tuberculosis. In the 1900’s, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United Stated. It was known as The Great White Plague. Those who suffered were isolated from society in homes or hospitals like the one pictured. Structures like this one were known as “Waiting rooms for death.”
The building was later used as a health department office in the 1970’s through about 1994.