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frankliner

North east downtown

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I am a new poster on the board who has been reading a long time. Finally decided that I need to make the jump and start posting, lol. I started this thread because I have not heard much news about this region of DT and was wondering if there were any plans for ANYTHING to help give the area a bit of a kickstart (or even a heartbeat). I realize that the new Federal Courthouse is going to be located nearby and I believe that the old Metro library has some issues with how Metro can use the site or it will revert to the former owners. But the Days Inn is a very ineffective use of what could be a prime DT site (close to library and state Capitol) and the use of the old library as storage is pretty wasteful of good DT space too. To wrap things up, does anyone know of any projects or initiatives up in this area (preferrably to get rid of the Days Inn, lol) Thanks!

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frankliner welcome to the forum.

I am responding because this section of d'town includes my home. The Westview located at 180 9th Ave. North was actually the first condo redevelpment completey sold out in d'town. The building is a mid-century office building for Bell (before Batman) that finished converting to condos last year. My neighbor Josh Smith purchased the Savage House (Tea Room, Gas Light, B & B) and is wrapping up a renovation to the structure that will result in a new cafe (The Standard) and reception facilities for special events (weddings, seminars, corporate meetings). In addition Josh also purchased a building on Church across from the YMCA and opened AllState Insurance offices.

You mentioned the Courthouse (hope it breaks ground soon) and the Toy Museum on that block just sold with plans for offices. There is a new Art Gallery being finished out on North 8th between Broadway and Commerce, and rumors that the the block bounded by Broadway, Commerce, 7th Ave and 8th Ave is planning some large commercial, residential, hotel components. on Church across from the Federal Courthouse site plans have announced for the Doctor's building to become a suites hotel. The YMCA has ambitious pans to more than double the size of their location on Church and TSU is undergoing a complete renovation. Almost forgot that the 8th Ave streetscape work will make 8th look like Church Street...a bg improvement.

Anyone else please add to the list.

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The huge parking lot fronting Church next to the old library begs to be developed, but I've never known of any such plans for it. If for some reason the CC were to land on Church in the gulch, this lot would be an obvious spot for a major hotel.

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I am a new poster on the board who has been reading a long time. Finally decided that I need to make the jump and start posting, lol. I started this thread because I have not heard much news about this region of DT and was wondering if there were any plans for ANYTHING to help give the area a bit of a kickstart (or even a heartbeat). I realize that the new Federal Courthouse is going to be located nearby and I believe that the old Metro library has some issues with how Metro can use the site or it will revert to the former owners. But the Days Inn is a very ineffective use of what could be a prime DT site (close to library and state Capitol) and the use of the old library as storage is pretty wasteful of good DT space too. To wrap things up, does anyone know of any projects or initiatives up in this area (preferrably to get rid of the Days Inn, lol) Thanks!

As you may know, that entire block from Days Inn across to the old downtown library once sat the mansion of President James K. Polk (and Polk FULLY intended for future generations to be able to see his home). Unfortunately, squabbling family members long after his death saw the mansion demolished (ostensibly Nashville's single greatest historical loss). By the late 19th Century/early 20th, a fairly substantial (and impressive) structure went up on the site, called the Polk Flats (Apartments). Sadly, that, too would be levelled many decades later for the predecessor to the Days Inn. I've not heard of any plans to replace the motel. Frankly, if I had my way, I'd demolish it and half the other block where the old library sits, and reconstruct the old Polk Place Mansion.

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The huge parking lot fronting Church next to the old library begs to be developed, but I've never known of any such plans for it. If for some reason the CC were to land on Church in the gulch, this lot would be an obvious spot for a major hotel.

Quite obvious, as it was once the site of the Hotel Tulane, which stood there from 1894 until around 1956, a massive Victorian structure (and yet another tragic, inexcusable loss for downtown). WSM once used it for recording studios, also.

http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/...otelTulane2.htm

http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/...telTulane_B.htm

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Thanks for the great overview Nashville Bound. There was alot more going on in the area than I had previously thought. I agree that the old library is central to getting the area back to looking great and I think it is a shame that Metro just uses it for storage and parking. Fieldmarshalldj, reconstructing James K. Polk's mansion sounds like a great idea!!! If Europe can reconstruct palaces all over the place, then we can reconstruct the home of one of Tennessee's three Presidents. :thumbsup:

I would have to agree with you that the loss of that building was a decidedly black mark on our DT's history however I think demolishing the old Governor's mansion for a fast food chain would have to rank pretty highly also. Btw, the website (www.historicnashville.com) you linked is great for seeing how many treasures Nashville has lost (alot more than I had ever thought when I was growing up here). :(

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Quite obvious, as it was once the site of the Hotel Tulane, which stood there from 1894 until around 1956, a massive Victorian structure (and yet another tragic, inexcusable loss for downtown). WSM once used it for recording studios, also.

http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/...otelTulane2.htm

http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/...telTulane_B.htm

It simply amazes me how utterly reckless we were in tearing down most of downtown Nashville. The losses are too great to cpmtemplate, and can never ever be replaced. I didn't realize the old Polk mansion was located there. That would be a great tourist attraction if had survived today. How on earth could we tear down an ex-president's home? It makes no sense at all.

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Fieldmarshalldj, reconstructing James K. Polk's mansion sounds like a great idea!!! If Europe can reconstruct palaces all over the place, then we can reconstruct the home of one of Tennessee's three Presidents. :thumbsup:

I would have to agree with you that the loss of that building was a decidedly black mark on our DT's history however I think demolishing the old Governor's mansion for a fast food chain would have to rank pretty highly also. Btw, the website (www.historicnashville.com) you linked is great for seeing how many treasures Nashville has lost (alot more than I had ever thought when I was growing up here). :(

It's funny, I've never seen the photograph of the Governor's mansion that was demolished for (if I recall correctly) a fried chicken joint until I located this: http://npldigital.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...ISOPTR=11&REC=3

There was actually an even earlier Governor's mansion (which made the above mansion look like an outhouse by comparison) that was located off the east side of 7th Avenue alongside a whole block of Victorian/Second Empire mansions that was demolished en masse for the War Memorial Plaza. If you walk by the statue of "giant nekkid guy", you're standing right about where the mansion stood. http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/.../GovMansion.jpg

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It simply amazes me how utterly reckless we were in tearing down most of downtown Nashville. The losses are too great to cpmtemplate, and can never ever be replaced. I didn't realize the old Polk mansion was located there. That would be a great tourist attraction if had survived today. How on earth could we tear down an ex-president's home? It makes no sense at all.

I had always hoped that a book could be done showing what used to stand within the central business district block by block, accompanied by pictures, drawings, renderings, etc. I like the historic books that have been done on Nashville, but they're usually so broad, you can't tell what necessarily was located at a certain street from a certain year.

As for Polk Place, I don't believe the city had much of a say (in fact, I'd imagine they'd have preferred the important mansion to remain). Blame the greedy descendents of Polk squabbling over their share (which resulted in the construction of that apartment building in its place). If I recall correctly, it came down in the 1890s or early '00s. A bad sign of things to come, though... :(

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It's posts like this that I find ironic. All these old buildings are historic to us now, but how "historic" were they then? I believe some of the same people crying about the history we lost are probably the same ones wanting to tear down the current convention center. That would be a historic site in 100 years!

Now, yes, I will agree that there's a big difference between a former presidents residence and a convention center, but what do we use to classify a structure as historic? Can we tear down 100 oaks mall today, but not tear it down in 10 years because it would be historic by then?

I don't know where to come down on the issue, but I think we do have to realize that some buildings do have to be torn down for progress. Maybe nottear buildings down for chickin shacks or cheap motels, but where would we have put the L&C tower if something 'historic' hadn't been torn down in it's place?

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It's posts like this that I find ironic. All these old buildings are historic to us now, but how "historic" were they then? I believe some of the same people crying about the history we lost are probably the same ones wanting to tear down the current convention center. That would be a historic site in 100 years!

Now, yes, I will agree that there's a big difference between a former presidents residence and a convention center, but what do we use to classify a structure as historic? Can we tear down 100 oaks mall today, but not tear it down in 10 years because it would be historic by then?

I don't know where to come down on the issue, but I think we do have to realize that some buildings do have to be torn down for progress. Maybe nottear buildings down for chickin shacks or cheap motels, but where would we have put the L&C tower if something 'historic' hadn't been torn down in it's place?

I'd dare say that Polk Place was considered historically and politically important, even in the 19th Century. Of course, we know that destruction of historic buildings is nothing unique to Nashville. The hands-down winner of the most catastrophic level of historic destruction would be New York City. Innumerable mansions and structures of jaw-dropping opulance were levelled for skyscrapers and apartment towers.

It is true the current Convention Center would be considered "historic" in 100 years, but as for architectural value, I doubt it will be considered all that important by any stretch. As our favorite poster NewTowner has pointed out, so much of what has been constructed in the past few decades lacks for much style or class. The CC is a fairly non-descript and bland building of virtually zero redeeming qualities. It's almost like a pedestrian black hole on the block with which it occupies (same goes for TPAC). I would not shed a tear to see them replaced with something that will hold its architectural value for the long run.

As for 100 Oaks Mall, growing up, I absolutely adored its prior incarnation with all its cheesy late '60s grandeur, but it has been so thoroughly remade inside to the point that it no longer is what it once was. It seems so cavernous, forlorn, and depressing now despite an attempt to spruce it up in late '90s "pizzazz."

Try to imagine a War Memorial Plaza that rose on the opposite of the Cumberland in a previously non-descript spot, and the beautiful Victorian/Second Empire mansions that were once located along 7th still standing today, converted to offices or apartments. It's sad that we have to travel to Richmond, Virginia just to see what kind of downtown we USED to have, when with a bit of common-sense and foresight, we could still have that today.

As for the L&C, as for all the newer buildings and high-rises downtown, I'd have largely preferred many of their predecessors to still be there today, and only through demolition of buildings of little architectural merit (or by fire), would newer structures rise in their place. I'm not anti-skyscraper at all, but surely a central core of superb 19th century buildings, mansions, apartments, etc., ringed by newer skyscrapers around the perimeter would be far preferable to what we ended up with now (and that goes for most cities, not just ours). It's largely the European model.

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The parking lot at the old library will not be developed until the city and the family that donated the land to the city for a library work up a new contract. If the property does not have a library on the lot then it reverts back to the family that donated it. So while the Metro city hall is located there, there is a small library located in the building. I guess we will see what happens when they move back to the courthouse.

Welcome to the forum and looking forward to more post.

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smeagolsfree, do you happen to know if there are any discussions between Metro and the family to rework the contract? Thanks for a clarification on the situation, I had heard rumours which were fairly similar to what you said.

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smeagolsfree, do you happen to know if there are any discussions between Metro and the family to rework the contract? Thanks for a clarification on the situation, I had heard rumours which were fairly similar to what you said.

I would like to learn from a city official why exactly they don't want the land to revert anyway, meaning, does the city have future plans for the block? What if the original owners of the property [or someone else] had grand plans, save for the unfortunate contract? I'd be stating the obvious to say that the library building is terribly ugly and the entire block is underutilized. How about a resurrected Tulane Hotel that draws cues from the old buildings on either side? OK, so another hotel might not have a chance.. what about Tulane Square with retail, apartments, offices, and a recording studio for old time's sake?

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I would like to learn from a city official why exactly they don't want the land to revert anyway, meaning, does the city have future plans for the block? What if the original owners of the property [or someone else] had grand plans, save for the unfortunate contract? I'd be stating the obvious to say that the library building is terribly ugly and the entire block is underutilized. How about a resurrected Tulane Hotel that draws cues from the old buildings on either side? OK, so another hotel might not have a chance.. what about Tulane Square with retail, apartments, offices, and a recording studio for old time's sake?

I try to imagine the mindset for allowing the Tulane lot (at such a key intersection !) to sit undeveloped for 50 (?) years. Simply astonishing.

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I had always hoped that a book could be done showing what used to stand within the central business district block by block, accompanied by pictures, drawings, renderings, etc. I like the historic books that have been done on Nashville, but they're usually so broad, you can't tell what necessarily was located at a certain street from a certain year.

As for Polk Place, I don't believe the city had much of a say (in fact, I'd imagine they'd have preferred the important mansion to remain). Blame the greedy descendents of Polk squabbling over their share (which resulted in the construction of that apartment building in its place). If I recall correctly, it came down in the 1890s or early '00s. A bad sign of things to come, though... :(

I actually have such a book! Complete with a fold-out map in the back. You will have a very hard time finding a copy, though. I bought mine on eBay about five years ago. It's called Nashville: A Short History and Selected Buildings. It was published in 1974 and produced by the Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County; Beverly Briley is listed as mayor and Mrs. May Dean Eberling was Executive Director of the Commission. Maybe there's one in the library.

It contains informative text, and over half the book contains black-and-white photos of various buildings in downtown, east Nashville, West End and nearby suburbs. Each photo is listed with the building's street address, architect(s), date of construction, and a paragraph synopsis on the history of the building. It seems many of the structures featured have been demolished since 1974. It's humorous that many of the bulidings we have today weren't yet completed in 1974, so the renderings were included in this book instead of photos.

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I actually have such a book! Complete with a fold-out map in the back. You will have a very hard time finding a copy, though. I bought mine on eBay about five years ago. It's called Nashville: A Short History and Selected Buildings. It was published in 1974 and produced by the Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County; Beverly Briley is listed as mayor and Mrs. May Dean Eberling was Executive Director of the Commission. Maybe there's one in the library.

It contains informative text, and over half the book contains black-and-white photos of various buildings in downtown, east Nashville, West End and nearby suburbs. Each photo is listed with the building's street address, architect(s), date of construction, and a paragraph synopsis on the history of the building. It seems many of the structures featured have been demolished since 1974. It's humorous that many of the bulidings we have today weren't yet completed in 1974, so the renderings were included in this book instead of photos.

Actually, so do I. I got that book when I was a kid over 20 years ago (I think I got it at the Tennessee State Museum). It was more a snapshot of the time, but I meant something even more specialized, within the CBD, one that hasn't been done, yet. Imagine a reference book that tells you, for example, what stood at the southwest corner of 5th and Deadrick in 1870 (or 1830 for that matter) along with a photo or drawing. I could even come up with a title "Downtown Nashville: What Was Here ? (1779-2006)."

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Actually, so do I. I got that book when I was a kid over 20 years ago (I think I got it at the Tennessee State Museum). It was more a snapshot of the time, but I meant something even more specialized, within the CBD, one that hasn't been done, yet. Imagine a reference book that tells you, for example, what stood at the southwest corner of 5th and Deadrick in 1870 (or 1830 for that matter) along with a photo or drawing. I could even come up with a title "Downtown Nashville: What Was Here ? (1779-2006)."

I see. Well with the idea and title already chosen, you're half way there, eh? :)

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I see. Well with the idea and title already chosen, you're half way there, eh? :)

Ah, if only it were halfway... I've had several ideas for books and projects and couldn't get 'em out of the planning stage (i.e. my brain). :(

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Ah, if only it were halfway... I've had several ideas for books and projects and couldn't get 'em out of the planning stage (i.e. my brain). :(

I totally relate to that. It's a great idea, tho. If you need an editor or photographer, let me know.

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I totally relate to that. It's a great idea, tho. If you need an editor or photographer, let me know.

Sure thing. Although I'm no Alfred Steiglitz, I ain't too shabby a photog myself. :blush:

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smeagolsfree, do you happen to know if there are any discussions between Metro and the family to rework the contract? Thanks for a clarification on the situation, I had heard rumours which were fairly similar to what you said.

I haven't a clue. That would be a good news investigation for one of our media types in here. :)

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