NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An icon of Nashville industry and the South Nashville landscape is set to be demolished.
The Genesco World Headquarters was a six-story concrete and steel building of 290,000 square feet located at 1415 Murfreesboro Road and built in the mid-1960s, according to the Nashville Public Library.
Demolition on the building is set to begin this month. The parking lot is currently being used for Nashville International Airport’s cell phone waiting lot.
The structure was designed in the New Formalism style of modern architecture by John Charles Wheeler & Associates.
The airport authority said demolition should take nine to 10 months to complete and the property will be used for an extension of a runway in about four years.
According to library records, Genesco was originally founded as the Jarman Shoe Company in 1924 as a footwear manufacturer, which was later renamed the General Shoe Company in the 1930s. Johnston & Murphy was purchased in 1951 and the company moved operations to Nashville.
The company took the name “Genesco” in 1959 under the leadership of W. Maxey Jarman, the son of co-founder J.F. Jarman, when the company began to diversify and expand.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for Genesco Industrial Park was held on Aug. 5, 1962
Through the years, the building served as a landmark for motorists traveling along Murfreesboro Road or travelers who landed at BNA in addition to serving as a place of employment for thousands of Nashvillians.
Genesco repositioned itself as a retailer and exited the footwear manufacturing business when it closed Johnston & Murphy’s Nashville factory in 2002. Genesco currently operates more than 1,455 retail stores all over the world.
Genesco moved operations to the Highland Ridge Tower on Marriott Drive in April 2022.