On May 10, the Metro Historical Commission honored local projects and individuals that have contributed to the preservation and restoration of historic buildings, landscapes, and neighborhoods. The 42nd Annual Preservation Awards recognized winners in the categories of Residential, Infill, Industrial and Engineering, Monuments and Memorials, and Commercial architecture, in addition to three special awards to recognize the distinguished service of individuals and organizations. Historic Nashville, Inc. co-sponsored the reception at the Waller law offices after the ceremony, and we were particularly proud to celebrate three winners that have been listed on the Nashville Nine, our annual list of the city’s most endangered historic properties.
The Historic Fire Hall for Engine Co. 18 at 1220 Gallatin Avenue was featured on the 2011 Nashville Nine list. Designated a Local Landmark in 2006, the 1930 fire hall experienced little physical change in its approximately eighty years of existence, and served an area seeing widespread suburban home construction in the 1920s and ’30s. After the city surplused the building, it stood vacant for many years, threatened by vandalism and neglect, In 2011, the fire hall suffered extensive fire damage before its renovation by local interior designer Karen Goodlow. Today, “The Station” holds retail shops, office space, and an events venue, and is a wonderful example of how adaptive reuse of a historic building can create a vibrant creative space for the city to enjoy.
The Hall-Harding-McCampbell House at 305 Kent Road in Donelson was built around 1790 by the Hall brothers and acquired by the McCampbell family in the 1840s. Since the mid-20th century, most of the grounds have been subdivided and developed. The house remained a private residence, but deferred maintenance resulted in the landmark becoming overgrown and deteriorated. This rare eighteenth century historic site made the Nashville Nine list in 2009, and when the owner passed away the vacant property was willed to the State of Tennessee. Later the house was sold at public auction. Allard Ward Architects restored interior finishes to the home and replaced structurally deficient 1960s additions with a carefully designed new addition, stabilizing the home and making it livable once again.
In 2015, the Nashville Nine list included rural cemeteries in Davidson County that faced development pressures and danger from neglect. The Shane Cemetery on Hoggett Ford Road, established in the 1790s, had become overgrown and forgotten, with no clear boundaries, broken stones, and many unmarked graves. Rehabilitation involved clearing brush and re-establishing boundaries, as well as resetting stones. This project identified more than thirty graves, including those of Morris and Phoebe Shane, who purchased the land on the Stones River in 1790.
Historic Nashville is proud to celebrate these and other preservation success stories in our city. We are also grateful to be able to remove these historic places from our endangered historic properties lists. But there are plenty of other historic places throughout Nashville and Davidson County that still need your help. Check out our Nashville Nine lists since 2009 to read more about these vulnerable sites, and learn how you can advocate for their preservation and restoration to become vital parts of our city once again.