published Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium to expand

A large crowd gives a standing ovation during the funeral service for banjo great and bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in this 2012 photo.
A large crowd gives a standing ovation during the funeral service for banjo great and bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in this 2012 photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — The Ryman Auditorium, the mother church of country music, is getting a new $14 million expansion that will provide more space for tours, food and beverage services and retail.

The national historic landmark, which was built as a tabernacle in 1892 and restored in 1994, will remain unchanged in the planning expansion.

Colin Reed, president and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, said in an announcement Thursday that the expansion would "accommodate the current and future demand we are seeing from both a tourism and concert attendance perspective."

Construction is expected to start later this summer with a planned opening in June 2015. The Ryman will continue to host events and tours through the construction.

The Ryman was the home of the Grand Ole Opry radio show in Nashville from 1943-1974.

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