There is hardly a nonprofit in the community that hasn’t been touched by Ellen Martin’s benevolence. For arts, social services and preservation organizations, she has generously provided funding through the Martin Foundation, served as a board member, chaired fundraisers and opened her home for countless events. She’s also hosted major political candidates for mayor, senator and president and celebrated momentous occasions, big and small, with family and friends. Now, after almost 30 years, she’s decided to move from her Greek Revival residence at 610 Belle Meade Blvd.
Built in 1925, the stately home — one of very few in this dignified style that remain in Belle Meade — has spectacular features, such as high ceilings, thick masonry walls, elaborate moldings and, as many know, sizable rooms for entertaining. The most striking feature of the grand entry hall has to be the 200-year-old hand-painted wallpaper, which the original owners found sitting in storage in England. The entry hall opens to the formal dining room and wood-paneled library, and beyond that are the kitchen and sunny breakfast room. On the opposite end of the entry hall, the formal living room leads to the light-filled sunroom with its black-and-white marble floor.
Quietly tucked away, the master suite completes the main floor. Accessed through a study, the spacious bedroom also has lots of windows and a covered porch that overlooks the circular rose garden. Upstairs, the second floor holds four more bedrooms and baths, and the third floor is already heated and cooled, making it a perfect location for a future playroom. The handsome carriage house, complete with a fireplace and kitchen, is next to the four-car garage.
The landscaping on the nearly 6-acre estate is remarkable. An avid gardener, Ellen planted the now-mature boxwoods and established the gardens when she moved in. In addition to the rose garden, she put in an abundance of hydrangeas, including a walkway lined with them that leads to a gazebo and what she calls her “hidden garden,” a circle of 10-foot tall boxwoods surrounding a bench.
Ellen has enjoyed sharing her home with so many, and the years of hospitality are now ingrained in its history. Let’s hope the next owners of this magnificent property continue to welcome the community into this treasure.
Address: 610 Belle Meade Blvd., Nashville, TN 37205
List Price: $8,500,000
Contact: Steve Fridrich (615-327-4800); Fridrich & Clark Realty