NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville’s story is rich, forged as a Civil War stronghold, shaped by the Civil Rights movement, and defined by a music that would make the city known worldwide.
Now the story is growth.
Along with the historic development, a pandemic, a tornado through North Nashville and a bomb blast in historic Second Avenue, saving history in Nashville right now is a bit like trying to drain the Cumberland River with a strainer.
Nashville’s history is disappearing at an alarming rate and the group Historic Nashville does what it can to save that history each year by highlighting nine threatened sites.
“The Nashville Nine is particularly designed to take a look at what we’re in danger of losing. And we try to focus on places that really tell stories of Nashville is heritage, Nashville’s history. These are the places that make Nashville unique place,” explained Elizabeth Elkins with Historic Nashville.
And there have been wins, like the Boyd House where Dr. Henry Allen and Georgia Bradford Boyd, post-Civil War African American icons lived.
“There’s so many things in play, but right now things look good for the Boyd House and obviously that’s a very important story to Nashville is heritage North Nashville incidence, of course,” said Elkins.
But for every win, there are more losses, like the Art Deco Firestone building on West End, which 90 years ago was one of the first retail tire shops in the South.
“The Firestone building is a great example, that’s on our Nashville Nine and that’s going to be a giant glass tower very soon,” explained Elkins.
Be it a lone hotel sign marking the site of the first black owned business to receive a federal loan, a church built in 1906 heavily damaged by last years’ tornado, the homes that line Music Row, or a Civil War fort built by union soldiers, Historic Nashville wants it to stay. Because Nashville’s future is riding on its past.
“That’s the question we all have to ask ourselves, is when we lose these places and we lose these visual and tactile connections to the past, good and bad things that Nashville has experienced, what do we lose?” asked Elkins.
It’s a question Historic Nashville hopes is raised with each building that comes down.
Nashville’s historic growth continues to change the city, but some people say it’s taking away the Music City’s hometown feel. News 2 weighs the pros and cons with day-long reports on ‘Lost Nashville’.