Metro Historical Commission begins collecting bricks, building material on 2nd Avenue

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Monday marked a significant milestone in the 2nd Avenue recovery process. Crews began removing rubble from the site of the Christmas Day bombing. It was the first step in preserving the district’s history. 

It’s an effort being led by the Metro Historical Commission.

“It’s certainly our role as an agency,” said Tim Walker, the Executive Director. “We are entrusted in making sure we protect the integrity of the historic buildings on the street.” 

Work began at 166 Second Avenue, better known as The Rhea Building. Betsy Williams is a business owner. 

“It’s depressing to come down here and go inside the building, but at the same time we are making steps in getting underway with reconstruction,” Williams said. “Normal sounds really good. I am ready for normal.” 

Betsy was looking forward to 2021, hoping it would be brighter year for the city and small businesses. For now, she wants to give back to the place she’s worked and lived in for 15 years. 

“People are interested in maintaining the integrity and it’s really important to Nashville’s history and we want to do our part to make it happen,” Williams said. 

New South Associates will sort and catalog the salvageable materials. Alley Cassetty Brick, a local manufacturer, will evaluate the pieces and store it. Metro General Services has provided a secure site for storage of all other materials. Metro Public Works will be transporting all salvageable materials to the two sites and will dispose of unusable debris. ​The work will include sorting through any salvageable building materials that have historic value.

The work is being funded by the newly created 2ndavestrong fund which was created to help support the restoration and preservation of 2nd Avenue. You can donate or learn more about the fund here.

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