Efforts underway to save historic Nashville building, amid ongoing demolitions on Music Row

Nashville 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Saturday, demolition began on one of the more historic landmarks on Music Row.

Preservationist Robbie Jones watched and recorded the demolition of a recording studio where icons like Ray Stevens worked. 

“Over the last five years, we’ve lost 50 music industry landmarks on Music Row.”  

In late April, a publishing studio was demolished, too. 

“Typically, you think of one building coming down at a time, in Nashville we take them down five at a time,” said Jones.  

Jones fears the historic Warren House on Broadway may be next. Developers bought the property in 2015 and Metro Council recently approved zoning for a hotel and luxury apartments  

“Things that happened at that building helped make Music City, Music City.”  

Councilman Freddie O’Connell hopes to move the home.  

“Last estimate that I heard, and this is going back a couple of years; that it could be as much as $2 million [to move the home and utilites].”  

O’Connell said he hopes to create a cost-sharing plan between stakeholders such as Metro Government, Nashville Electric Service, Vanderbilt, and the property owner, to name a few. 

He told News 2 he hopes to share the ideas to Metro Council this week. 

“We’re going to need to get a decision made quickly now that we seem to have an active project for that site,” said O’Connell.  

But Jones wants to see ideas for long-term solutions to protect pieces of old Nashville.  

“Preservation funds, policies, and procedures. And hiring preservation planners and implementing a preservation plan for the city, that actually has some teeth to it.”  

Jones said Metro Government will have to get creative with other preservation incentives that will be allowed under state law. 

He suggested, “There are things that we can do with tax abatements or maybe some other types of financial incentives. The big thing is that we could offer some grants to people who need to do renovation projects or want to get their building on the National Register. If you want to donate an easement to Historic Nashville, there is some cost involved. You’ll get a tax rebate, but you have put up some money upfront to pay lawyers to fill out the paperwork. Perhaps we could offer people funding to pay those lawyers to do that paperwork and make it easier for them to take those actions. There are all sorts of things we can do if just sit down at the table, get creative and find a way.” 

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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