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linclink

Madison

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Hi Guys,

I was just wondering if anyone could give me the lowdown on Madison. Is that a nice area of town? Is it a more rural area, or is it basically a suburb of Nashville? Any info would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Paula

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I lived in Nashville from 88 to 92 and I still go back quite often. While I haven't spent a lot of time in Madison, I've been there off and on for the last 15 years. I used to date a girl who grew up in Hendersonville. I expect that the Nashville forumers will have much more to add.

Anyway, as an outsider, my impressions of Madison are that it is most definitely a suburb of Nashville. Most of it was built in the early post-WW2 decades. Overall it's middle/working class with pockets of upper and lower income families. I think it is still predominantly a family oriented area, and that lends to its stability over the years. There is some very nice housing stock in the area (especially 1950s ranchers). I have always been impressed by how huge the yards are there. I was told by a native that it was because there were no sewers in the 1950s and the rocky soil required lots of area for septic tank perk.

Also, I believe at one time, it was an independent municipality (as it has an old downtown core along Gallatin Rd.). I recall that the old water tower (torn down about 5 years ago) at I-65 used to tout the town as the state's sixth largest shopping area (?). Anyway, Rivergate Mall is there and lots of strip malls along the Gallatin corridor. Finally, I think it has been a destination for lots of immigrants in the last 15 years, and still a very stable area. I haven't been there enough to know if it is seeing any big growth spurts in recent years. From what I remember about it, it would be ripe for a renaissance (if one hasn't already started there).

(For what it's worth) I remember being in a Kroger about 8-10 years ago and saw several very nice looking professional-type women.

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I am not all that familiar w/Madison, but I did stay at my brother's apartment in Madison(right off of Gallatin at Briley) for a few months about a year ago while I was in the process of moving. One thing I noticed was that there seemed to be a lot of police helicopters in the air at night--more regularly than the last time I lived in South Nashville. I think this might be a new thing everywhere, however, with helicopters patroling nightly as I notice the same thing living in the Gulch and I know that some cities do use helicopters for that purpose. Maybe its not worth mentioning.

Also, I grew up in South Nashville in Woodbine (Glencliff, Harding Mall) and Antioch, so that is where I have always been most comfortable. That may make me a little biased. One of the best things about south Nashville is it is so multicultural, but Madison is becoming more that way too. I guess some people don't see that as a plus, but I think it is great.

Madison a suburb? Well maybe in a way. It is part of Metro-Davidson, and it doesn't really have that much of a "suburban" feel to it. I think of it more of as a neighborhood or a part of town. It is convenient to Opry Mills (if that is a plus for you) and Rivergate and Briley Pkwy/65 (construction included)--which I'm sure you know. It really does depend on which part of Madison you end up in. I think it is a better option if you are looking for a house than if you are looking for an apartment. My brother's apartment in Madison was broken into--it was a pretty poor looking place, though, where you would not be surprised by that sort of thing. The housing option in Madison on the other hand can be charming and affordable (and a popular pick, esp. for young couples).

The different parts of Nashville have such different feels and advantages to them, that I wouldn't make a choice without visiting the different parts. I have always liked the feel of south Nashville better, as I mentioned, but Rivergate has a lot more restaurants and shops in one area than Hickory Hollow Mall does. If you are not familiar w/ the different neighborhoods, there are plenty to chose from that have affordable options--Madison, Woodbine, Antioch, Berry Hill/Melrose, Crieve Hall, Donelson, etc. I actually found an affordable apt in the Gulch too, but there is a waiting list.

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I gave you any of the sort of info that you were looking for, but there it is. I hope it helps some.

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I have a few friends who live in that area of town and its a pretty nice place depending on what parts you go. One friends lives in Inglewood if that is an option.

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Everyone seemed to cover it pretty well. I suppose I should be the Madison expert growing up in nearby Inglewood and remembering the first area McDonald's where you could buy a full meal for 56 cents. I know more about Madison than anyone really wants to hear, but it's a correct statement that the area is changing from a small city with its own identity to just another part of town. It's a large area with all socio-economic groups represented. Most of you don't know about the large mansions located between the Springhill Cemetary and the Cumberland River (and inaccessible to the public), or that the people of Madison don't use Metro Water, but have their own waterworks, or that there's a 5-acre lake adjacent to Spring Hill Cemetary that was formed from a fresh water spring that also feeds the private pool of pre-1800 development called Hayesboro, the houses of which are still in use today...tho modernized. A lot of things are on the other side of those trees along Briley Parkway might surprise you.

Take Neely's Bend Road to the end and you end up where the Stone's River meets the Cumberland. Being in a floodplain, the area maintains its rural nature with large farms and even a bamboo farm. There was public pool at the end of Neely's where I'd go in the summer, but it's gone now.

The first Shoney's was in Madison and cruising was a big "sport" back in the 60s and 70s. Madison Square shopping Center was the outdoor equivalent of a modern mall (early lifestyle center?) with Harvey's, J.C. Penney and loads of stuff. It was always a fascinating outing when the folks would take us there.

Hillbilly Day was a Madison tradition. Madison High School was for many years the rival of Litton High School, my alma mater, closed in 1971 right after I graduated.

An area of Madison called Amqui had its own train station which was bought by Johnny Cash and moved to Hendersonville to be used for a gift shop. It was located in the vicinity of Lowes, and I remember it well.

But Madison today is quite the hodgepodge of people. Mixed in with the old business are new ones operated by Hispanics, Arabs, Africans, Asians and such. Madison offers loads of amenities for those looking for diverse affordable neighborhoods. Nowadays one must appreciate diversity a lot because you will be surrounded by it. Throw in a few good ol' boys and girls, and you've got Madsion.

Brain, that was the FIFTH largest shopping area....lol. Credit where credit due. Sadly, the old water tank is gone now and a 10-12 lane freeway runs through it.

So much for my trip down Memory Lane.

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You asked for the lowdown on Madison. Nobody else seems to give it, so I give you the lowdown.

Is it a nice area of town? No.

Is it a more rural area of town, or basically a suburb? Certainly not rural. Much old commercial surrounded by old residential.

Any more info? Madison's not nice. Had its heyday in the 50's and 60's when GI's came back with a bit of cash and had industrial jobs close to there. Not in any pathway of redevelopment. Many immigrants now call it home.

There's the lowdown.

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You asked for the lowdown on Madison. Nobody else seems to give it, so I give you the lowdown.

Is it a nice area of town? No.

Is it a more rural area of town, or basically a suburb? Certainly not rural. Much old commercial surrounded by old residential.

Any more info? Madison's not nice. Had its heyday in the 50's and 60's when GI's came back with a bit of cash and had industrial jobs close to there. Not in any pathway of redevelopment. Many immigrants now call it home.

There's the lowdown.

I think parts of Madison are very nice. It also has a nice feel about it in some areas. The old downtown area is unique to not be a separate entity within Nashville and they opened a downtown Art Gallery a few years ago. I would consider Rivergate separate from Madison as it is technically located within Goodlettsville city limits.

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Everyone seemed to cover it pretty well. I suppose I should be the Madison expert growing up in nearby Inglewood and remembering the first area McDonald's where you could buy a full meal for 56 cents. I know more about Madison than anyone really wants to hear, but it's a correct statement that the area is changing from a small city with its own identity to just another part of town. It's a large area with all socio-economic groups represented. Most of you don't know about the large mansions located between the Springhill Cemetary and the Cumberland River (and inaccessible to the public), or that the people of Madison don't use Metro Water, but have their own waterworks, or that there's a 5-acre lake adjacent to Spring Hill Cemetary that was formed from a fresh water spring that also feeds the private pool of pre-1800 development called Hayesboro, the houses of which are still in use today...tho modernized. A lot of things are on the other side of those trees along Briley Parkway might surprise you.

Take Neely's Bend Road to the end and you end up where the Stone's River meets the Cumberland. Being in a floodplain, the area maintains its rural nature with large farms and even a bamboo farm. There was public pool at the end of Neely's where I'd go in the summer, but it's gone now.

The first Shoney's was in Madison and cruising was a big "sport" back in the 60s and 70s. Madison Square shopping Center was the outdoor equivalent of a modern mall (early lifestyle center?) with Harvey's, J.C. Penney and loads of stuff. It was always a fascinating outing when the folks would take us there.

Hillbilly Day was a Madison tradition. Madison High School was for many years the rival of Litton High School, my alma mater, closed in 1971 right after I graduated.

An area of Madison called Amqui had its own train station which was bought by Johnny Cash and moved to Hendersonville to be used for a gift shop. It was located in the vicinity of Lowes, and I remember it well.

But Madison today is quite the hodgepodge of people. Mixed in with the old business are new ones operated by Hispanics, Arabs, Africans, Asians and such. Madison offers loads of amenities for those looking for diverse affordable neighborhoods. Nowadays one must appreciate diversity a lot because you will be surrounded by it. Throw in a few good ol' boys and girls, and you've got Madsion.

Brain, that was the FIFTH largest shopping area....lol. Credit where credit due. Sadly, the old water tank is gone now and a 10-12 lane freeway runs through it.

So much for my trip down Memory Lane.

OMG Dave, that is great stuff. Very vivid description. You could just keep right on going and pretty soon you'd have a novel or memoirs w/some great nostalgic perspective on a changing city.

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