Historic properties on Elliston Place in jeopardy

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville’s growth could also take out a hundred years of history.

Three apartment buildings on the corner of Elliston Place and Louise Avenue are on the chopping block.

Triumph Hospitality, a hotel developer, has requested a zoning change that would allow a 15-story building on the property. Triumph Hospitality did not return News 2’s requests for more information on the property plans.

On Tuesday evening, Metro Council was set to vote to either approve or deny the zoning change. The Metro Councilman for the district, Ed Kindall, delayed the vote till August.

News 2 reached out to Historic Nashville Inc. about the zoning request. Board member Brian Mansfield said,

“They’re as good as gone if they get this exemption.”

Mansfield said the three buildings date back to the 1910s and 1920s,

“This is what everybody thinks of as the ‘look’ of Elliston Place when they come down here because these apartments have been here for as long as anyone can remember.”

Mansfield added that the century-old apartments are some of the few of its kind,

“There are very few apartment buildings left from that era in this town.”

Ahead of the vote that was supposed to happen on Tuesday evening, Historic Nashville Inc. and preservationists sent letters to Metro Council members asking them to oppose the rezoning.

In a letter obtained by News 2 preservationist Robbie Jones wrote:

“This rezoning request for a new redevelopment project would require demolition of THREE historic landmarks for construction of a new high-rise hotel. The Metro Planning Department staff recommended that the building heights and intensity of uses requested do NOT meet the policy for the area and the Metro Planning Commission was unanimous (6-0) in its recommendation DISAPPROVAL of this bill on 2/28/19. Therefore, this rezoning request will need 27 votes to pass at Metro Council.

If you vote yes and override the recommendations of Metro Planning Department staff and the Metro Planning Commission, as well as Historic Nashville, you are endorsing and supporting the demolition of these historic landmarks on behalf of the City of Nashville. You will send a message to developers that Nashville’s elected officials do not care about preserving our historic landmarks that are valuable assets to the city residents. You will be ignoring the very planning experts and preservation specialists employed by the city to advise you on such matters.

If you vote no and defer to the recommendations of Metro planners and preservation specialists, you will send a message to developers that our historic resources matter to us, that we value our history, that we want to retain the landmarks that make us unique. Three historic apartment buildings are more valuable to us than yet another new hotel highrise. I know that my opinion is shared by THOUSANDS of Nashville residents who follow my social media posts and have told me that they agree – recent posts on my account have received over 6000 likes, 2000 comments, 2500 shares and a video I posted of a historic landmark on Music Row being demolished was viewed by 50,000 people. Don’t our opinions on the matter of preservation count for something??

On a personal note, when I first moved to Nashville in 1994, soon after graduating from Architecture School at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, I moved to an apartment at Elliston Place adjacent to these. The historic landmarks in that neighborhood appealed to me and shaped my early years in this city that I love. Too much of Elliston Place has already been destroyed. Please don’t endorse and support further demolition. Please have the courage to do the right thing and VOTE NO.”

News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. Click here for more Nashville 2019 reports.

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