NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been a trying year for those that live and work on 2nd Avenue North. Their lives have been turned upside down. But it’s also been stressful for those who work to save Nashville history so it was no surprise when the group Historic Nashville put the spotlight back on 2nd Avenue with their annual list of endangered properties.
“There’s nobody that remembers a time when this was not here and this is really one of the best-preserved stretches of like riverfront retail in the country. So there’s really not much like this. But this is very much a defining part of the look of Nashville,” explained Brian Mansfield with Historic Nashville.
For all intents and purposes, that defining look lining 2nd Avenue North has remained unchanged for nearly a century and a half, protected and preserved.
That all changed a year ago on Christmas morning and many have nervously been watching what happens next including Historic Nashville.
“We’re really in uncharted waters because there are large parts of what we hold an easement on that are gone. And in the case of 172 2nd Ave North, if it hasn’t been completely demolished, it will have to be because there’s just not enough left of it. So there’s not really precedent for this,” said Mansfield.
Now the group is once again in a race to save history, placing this stretch back on their endangered property list known as the Nashville 9. “What we’re hoping is that we bring the public attention to the process that is beginning to start with the restoration and rebuilding of those four buildings,” said Mansfield.
Nashville has always been quick to replace the old with the new, as development has seemingly touched every corner of the city. Historic Nashville hopes this stretch of 2nd Avenue will stand as a reminder of what got us here in the first place., which is part of a much bigger discussion underway the organization feels we need sooner than later.
“I would love to see the Nashville 9 this year, and especially the designation for these buildings, bring more people into the discussions of what parts of this community that we want to save. I would love to see the entire city of Nashville get more involved in the discussions about what are we going to do with historic buildings? What are the parts of it we want to keep?” asked Mansfield.
News 2 takes you inside the recovery of Nashville’s Historic Downtown area rocked by the bombing last Christmas. Catch special reports on 2nd Avenue Reborn all day Thursday in every newscast. And on WKRN.com.
And for the record, Historic Nashville is pleased the current plans for the reconstruction comply with the Metro historic overlay, and with preservation easements in hand, they plan to watch the development closely.