New proposal revealed for bombed downtown Nashville over Christmas

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A redevelopment proposal for four historic downtown buildings ravaged in the Christmas Day bombing will first be presented to metro planning commissioners on Thursday afternoon.

It’s a revised plan that comes two months after owner Hotel Management and Development Co. applied for permits to demolish the most damaged properties.

Historic conservatives opposed the company’s July demolition request and argued its engineers were looking to demolish more than necessary.

In response, the permit application was withdrawn as work continued to secure broken walls, torn wiring and other structural parts threatening to collapse.

Previously:“Heartbreaking Conclusion”: Sought Demolition of Historic Downtown Buildings on 2nd Avenue

The nine-member Metro Historic Zoning Commission has the power to veto demolition because Victorian commercial structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected by Metro’s zoning rules.

They were a central part of the city’s original Market Street, where broom-making, pharmaceutical sales, and beer brewers did business by the riverside. More recently, the Strip offered a more scenic alternative to downtown nightlife than the neighboring neon stretch of honky-tonks. Old Spaghetti Factory, Rodizio Grill, and The Melting Pot sat alongside upscale lofts, a laser-tag business, and a tattoo parlor. They were among the businesses affected.

Several engineering companies searched the shattered buildings to see if they were structurally sound, after initial findings identified 11 properties for demolition.

“Selective demolition”

The Second Avenue gang just off Broadway was targeted by an Antioch resident who built a bomb in his camper van and detonated it outside the AT&T building in the neighborhood bustling business.

No one other than bomber Anthony Quinn Warner was killed in the morning attack.

But 170, 172, 174 and 176 Second Ave. were shredded.

Since then, engineering teams have carefully removed and preserved century-old bricks, ironwork and other historic architectural materials to make the area safe for the public.

The owners are now applying for “selective demolition” permits. They also present their redevelopment plans for community review.

They hope to build new connections between First and Second Avenues along the Cumberland River that match the area’s signature lanes lined with businesses, according to plans.

The four buildings are simply too compromised to be saved in any meaningful way, they said.

Downtown business leaders presented this as an opportunity to revitalize the adjacent First Avenue area which is now the back of businesses facing 2nd Avenue.

“We now want to move forward with a new vision for the site that will honor its history, creating something that fits perfectly with this iconic row of historic buildings and makes it feel like it has always been part of the fabric. “said the owners. , in a letter sent Monday to the Metro Historic Zoning Commission. “We have managed to save many historic bricks, cast iron columns, stone lintels, window covers, building cornices and other materials. Our intention is to reuse as much of these historic materials as possible in the redevelopment.

New development sought

The metro council, planning commission and historic zoning commission have yet to approve the proposal.

The Planning Commission will hear the plans proposed by the company at 4 p.m. Thursday. A series of public hearings will follow later this year.

The owners hope to construct new buildings as high as six stories on the existing margins around the buildings, according to their original proposal.

Tim Walker, executive director of the Nashville Historical Commission, said he was “encouraged” by a request for tax relief from homeowners.

“A historic property tax rebate on the 174 and 176 will require homeowners to rebuild the facades of Second Avenue buildings to match their original design using salvaged viable building materials,” Walker said. .

He added that selective demolition permits will restrict homeowners to remove only construction pieces “without structural integrity” and require them to reinforce weakened and aged walls.

Officials at Historic Nashville Inc. are still concerned that selective demolition permits could be abused, if granted.

“Our concern is that the remaining viable portions of the façades may be needlessly demolished to complete this project – particularly if the owner seeks to terminate conservation easements on the property,” said Miranda Christy, representative for Historic Nashville. “Historic Nashville is committed in these documents to ensuring that these precious pieces of our history are protected in perpetuity, and we intend to preserve them.”

You can reach Sandy Mazza by emailing [email protected], calling 615-726-5962 or on Twitter @SandyMazza.


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