Storybook Houses Exhibit to open at Cheekwood May 1

Local Architects Bring Childhood Classics to Life through Interactive Playhouses  

WHAT: Storybook Houses at Cheekwood

WHERE: Cheekwood
1200 Forrest Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37205

WHEN: May 1, - September 1, 2019

DETAILS: Cheekwood is inviting guests to experience five popular childhood classic stories reimagined as playhouses in its gardens. Visitors of all ages will enjoy Storybook Houses, featuring whimsical playhouses inspired by beloved illustrators including “Oh, The Places You’ll Play” inspired by Dr. Seuss, “Hill Top Garden” inspired by Beatrix Potter, “Charlotte’s Barn” inspired by Garth Williams, “We Are Wild” inspired by Maurice Sendak, and “TRAINS!” inspired by Loren Long.

The houses were brought to life through a collaborative effort of talented local architecture and building firms including Design Contractors, Inc., T.W. Frierson Contractor, Inc., Hastings Architecture, Pfeffer Torode Architecture, Tuck Hinton Architecture and Design, and The Wills Company.  

Students from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology were recruited to assist The Wills Company on their endeavor of creating “Charlotte’s Barn” (inspired by Charlotte’s Web author and illustrator E.B. White).

It took a crew of more than 50 architects, engineers and builders, three months from concept to reality, and only 25 days on site to fully build the playhouses from the ground up.

On view from May 1 – September 1, 2019, kids are invited to “step into the story” as they interact with each of the playhouses’ signature elements, while adults can enjoy the craftsmanship and photo opportunities tied to stories they may have loved as kids themselves.  

From June 22 through September 1, visitors may also enjoy Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Book Illustrations in the Museum Galleries. With over 140 original works included from over 75 books, Childhood Classics explores the history of children’s books from the turn of the century pen and ink Mother Goose art of Sarah Noble Ives, to the most popular works of today including the digital creations of Mo Willems.

The museum exhibition features the original art of Dr. Seuss, the iconic Wild Things of Maurice Sendak and the perennial heroism of Garth Williams’ Stuart Little. Among the many classic illustrators featured are Rosemary Wells, Richard Scarry, Chris Van Allsburg, and Hilary Knight. Fondly remembered characters of literature include Babar, Eloise, Madeline, the Cat in the Hat and Dick & Jane. Extensive wall labels illuminate the works.

Storybook Houses and Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Book Illustrations are sponsored by Vanderbilt Health. For more information about the exhibits, visit


About Cheekwood

Cheekwood is a 55-acre American Country Place Era estate in Nashville, Tennessee. Built in 1929 by the Cheek family who amassed their fortune in part through the Maxwell House Coffee business, the estate was gifted and opened as a public institution in 1960. Today, it features 12 distinct gardens, a woodland sculpture trail, a 7,000-piece permanent art collection, and Georgian-style Mansion with historically furnished rooms and galleries.

Over 225,000 visitors come to Cheekwood annually for year-round seasonal festivals, world-class art exhibitions, breathtaking gardens, and educational and public programs for all ages. A member of the American Public Gardens Association, Cheekwood is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its mission is to preserve Cheekwood as a historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit.

For more information about Cheekwood, visit

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Caroline Jeronimus
615.353.6982 (o)
615.480.0500 (m)