NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — North Nashville’s Enchanted Hills is an African American neighborhood where Keisha Gardner Beard’s life began.

“I remember going trick or treating, and we were going from house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood,” she recalled.

However, just a mile away lies another neighborhood.

“Granddaddy bought that land and built those houses,” said Beard.

It’s called the Gardner Gold Coast. It was Nashville’s first African American subdivision, created by Beard’s grandfather, Kossie Gardner Sr.

“He was kind of like, ‘If we don’t have it, we need to try to fix it and make it,'” Beard explained.

Gardner was a prominent businessman and funeral director in Nashville. His legacy can be found off Jefferson Street with buildings and parks, as well as in his subdivision through the unique architecture Caroline Eller is now planning to study.

“We know that there are Civil Rights icons associated with some of these districts,” said Eller, a historic preservationist with the Metro Historical Commission. “We know that Dr. Matthew Walker lived in this district, for example, and he was a prominent doctor associated with Hubbard Hospital.”

The Metro Historical Commission was recently awarded nearly $60,000 from the Underrepresented Communities Grant Program, which is financed by the Historic Preservation Fund and administrated by the National Park Service. This grant will allow the commission to study underrepresented communities in Davidson County.

“We really want to go and document the history of Bordeaux and North Nashville — specifically the African American neighborhoods that developed in this area sort of in response to redlining and Jim Crow era discriminatory housing practices, urban renewal…things of that nature,” explained Eller.

Over the next two years, the commission will work to complete archival research and field survey activities of historic districts to create a countywide document for the National Register of Historic Places.

“Through this study and this research, we can help give them the tools that can be protected if they want that for their neighborhood,” said Eller.

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The commission plans to study neighborhoods like Enchanted Hills, Gardner’s Gold Coast, Gardner’s Meadow, Haynes Meade, Hillhurst, and Clintondale. Long-term preservation of these communities and their stories is the goal of this project, according to Eller.

Beard knows her grandfather would approve of the project, saying, “I think he would be very proud that the city is trying to preserve these beautiful neighborhoods that were created for African American people.”

The Metro Historical Commission will start holding community meetings to spread the word about this project next year. Officials said they plan to finish the project by early 2025.