When you envisage a grand Southern estate, chances are it would look similar to this Nashville property. Located at 1304 Chickering Road in the prestigious Belle Meade neighborhood, the sprawling property neighbors those of Reese Witherspoon, just down the road, and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill a street away.
“There are many other well-established homes in this area, but not many of them are on a lot this size,” says Steve Fridrich of Fridrich & Clark Realty.
Billionaire Tom Frist Jr., co-founder of HCA Healthcare and worth an estimated $17.5 billion, and his late wife, Patricia, purchased the property in 1993, and renovations on the home and its ancillary structures were completed around 2001. The Nashville native and former Air Force flight surgeon has been extremely charitable to the Nashville community through organization such as the Frist Foundation and by funding the Frist Art Museum and building local schools. Following his wife’s passing last year, Dr. Frist is now looking to downsize and is giving another family the opportunity to own this $50 million legacy property.
The 19,811-square-foot estate has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and four half-bathrooms and sits back about half a mile from the road, ensuring near-total privacy. Dr. Frist and his wife enlisted renowned interior designer Bunny Williams to create a traditional and elegant Southern-style home. Even 21 years later, her interior design style stands the test of time, evoking a classic and elegant aesthetic. The home was built by New York-based architects Ferguson & Shamamian and was made using handmade Virginia brick. Notable features include colonnaded porches at the entry and back of the home.
“The Frists are a large Nashville family who entertained several times a year, but they also have grown children and grandchildren, so they needed to build a home suitable for large groups,” Fridrich tells Robb Report. “The house has a very Southern traditional grandeur about it, but it also has casual areas for family. It’s different from many formal houses in that all the rooms kind of open up to each other. For example, the main family room is a two-story, timber-framed great room with exposed beams and double fireplaces, much like a barn, and different from the other areas of the home.”
The tailored formal areas include the sumptuous dining room with hand-painted wallpaper and sophisticated textures and decor; a formal living room with a grand piano; entertaining rooms that open onto the outdoors; and a lovely country kitchen. The kitchen features vintage-inspired washed blue cabinetry, wide-plank mahogany floors and a botanical-printed ceiling with exposed beams.
The home also features a wood-paneled library, a gym, a six-car garage, a game/recreation room, wet bar and a covered patio enclosed by arch brick walkways. An elevator connects to every level for easy access. Every room has large windows that allow in plenty of natural light and high ceilings that make the rooms feel exceptionally large.
Outside there’s a beautiful colonnaded porch underneath the second floor’s Juliet balcony. It’s ideal for breezy summer days and has exquisite views of the grounds. There’s also a swimming pool, gazebo, tennis court and guest cottage. The entire property, but particularly the pool and neighboring stone patio area, wouldn’t look out of place in the South of France. There are also dozens of beautiful gardens, like a rose garden, cutting garden and many boxwood gardens, and the area is shrouded in privacy thanks to the lush trees and landscaping completed by renowned landscape architect, Ben Page.
The main lot is 50 acres and it is being sold with an adjacent nine-acre building site just down the road, should you choose to build another guest home later on. On the main lawn, Dr. Frist would host galas and large events; recently, Fridrich noted, he hosted a beautiful birthday party for his granddaughter. It’s possible many politicians have come through the house as well, as Dr. Frist’s brother Bill Frist (also a heart and lung surgeon) was a United States senator.
“The house is a one-of-a-kind home with exceptional quality,” Fridrich says. “It’s not just a large house for the sake of it. It’s like a work of art, and you would have to see it in person to truly understand the quality.”
Not only is the property Nashville’s most expensive listing, but also Tennessee’s.
Check out more photos of the property below: