The showdown between growth and preservation is another hurdle in Nashville’s historic growth.
On Tuesday, Metro Councilman Fabian Bedne spoke exclusively to News 2 about a preservation request made by him and three other Metro Council members this week.
That request was written in a formal letter released on Monday. Bedne, including Metro Council members Brett Withers, Jeff Syracuse, and Mina Johnson, asked Metro Public Schools to make preservation a priority at 88 Hermitage Avenue.
On the property sits what was the “Colored Department” for the Tennessee School for the Blind from the early 1940s to mid-1960s.
Metro Government has set aside funds to purchase the property from the State, hoping to relocate the Nashville School of the Arts.
“Some of us are not against the School being located there, but [we] are against demolishing an old building,” said Bedne.
Davidson County historian, Carole Bucy, said the building is a relic of Nashville’s African American culture.
“It is one of the very last pieces of the African American society that existed here…that still remains here.”
Bedne holds a degree in architecture and said the preservation request is feasible.
“You have to think about it. You have to think about how you preserve the existing building…how you incorporate it into the new structure…how you design around it….you can do it.”
Bucy said 88 Hermitage Avenue is vital to cultural history.
“Segregation was a reality in the South, in the state of Tennessee, in Nashville as well. We need to acknowledge it, and we need to talk about it.”
News 2 reached out Metro Public Schools. The School system said they weren’t ready to comment on the request.
Metro Council members who signed the letter asked for an update by next week.
News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. Click here for more Nashville 2019 reports.