ANNUAL MEETING AT THE PARTHENON DRAWS RECORD CROWD; METRO PARKS DIRECTOR TOMMY LYNCH PROVIDES UPDATE ON CITY-OWNED HISTORIC PROPERTIES
Nashville, Tenn. – Jan. 30, 2012 – Historic Nashville, Inc. (HNI) members were introduced to a new board of directors and officers, presented with a new website and offered a state of the city review of historic preservation at its Annual Meeting last Thursday, January 26.
The catered event drew nearly 100, the largest turnout since HNI reorganized in 2005, including U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, several members of Metro Council, professors from TSU and Fisk, Davidson County Historian Dr. Carole Bucy and other leaders from the local preservation community. Guest speakers included Director of Metro Parks and Recreation Tommy Lynch and Director of The Parthenon Wesley Paine.
“After reorganizing five years ago, we are finally making significant progress in becoming a grassroots force for preservation in our city,” said President Robbie D. Jones. “The last two years have been banner years for HNI; we increased our annual operating budget nearly 200 percent, grew our membership, successfully applied for grants and hosted over a dozen special events, tours and our first fundraiser in years. We can hardly wait to continue the momentum into 2012.”
The membership elected four returning members to the board of directors: David Price, a historian with New South Associates; Lianne Dent, an executive assistant at Golden Griffin; Scarlett Miles, a historian with the Metro Historical Commission and Robbie D. Jones, a senior historian with New South Associates. Jones acknowledged outgoing board member Alan Hayes, an associate architect with Thomas, Miller & Partners in Brentwood, who helped reorganize HNI in 2005.
The membership also elected four new board members: Susan Hager, an architect and secretary of the Tennessee chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture; Amanda McDougald, a research analyst with Vanderbilt University Medical Center; James Dunn, owner of Vintage Millworks, a local provider of vintage building materials; and Dr. Crystal DeGregory, a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University and professor of history at TSU. The 2012 officers are President Robbie D. Jones, Vice President Melissa Wyllie, Secretary Susan Hagar, Treasurer Jared King, and Past President David Price. Ex-officio board member and Legal Counsel is Bob Tuke and Vivian Wilhoite, former Metro Council member and ex-officio board member.
In addition to leadership announcements, HNI also unveiled a new website www.historicnashvilleinc.org, funded with a $2,500 grant from the Frist Foundation.
Guest speaker Wesley Paine provided an illuminating overview of efforts to preserve The Parthenon, the city-owned museum which she has directed since 1979 and centerpiece of Centennial Park. “Historic preservation is important to the livability and attractiveness of a city,” she said. “Past integrated with future is a beautiful thing to behold.”
Guest speaker Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch gave an overview of the efforts to preserve city-owned historic landmarks under stewardship of Metro Parks and Recreation. These include Fort Nashborough, which will soon undergo a full restoration; Two Rivers Mansion, which is currently undergoing a $750,000 restoration; Fort Negley, which has been restored as a ruins and historic site museum; the Naval Reserve Building at Shelby Park, which was damaged by the May 2010 Flood and recently turned over to the city by the U.S. Navy; the Lock Master’s House at Lock Two Park, which is leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and currently in a state of disrepair and the WPA picnic shelters at Warner Parks, some of which will soon be restored by the Friends of Warner Parks.
“We have initiated conversations with Director Lynch about how HNI can assist Metro Parks in finding creative ways to maintain our city-owned historic landmarks, those defining places that make Nashville unique,” said Jones. “For instance, we are in the process of taking a look at our peer cities to see how they sufficiently fund annual maintenance, which is pivotal in preventing minor repairs from becoming major restorations. Ongoing deferred maintenance due to lack of funding is an ongoing and serious problem that we must tackle sooner rather than later.”
About Historic Nashville, Inc.
Established in 1968 and renamed in 1975, Historic Nashville, Inc. (HNI) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 membership organization with the mission to “Promote and preserve the historic places that make Nashville unique.” Over the years, HNI has successfully advocated for the preservation of such historic places the Ryman Auditorium, Union Station, Hermitage Hotel, 2nd Avenue & Lower Broadway, and Shelby Street Bridge, as well as neighborhood historic districts throughout the city. In 1982, HNI established the state’s first Preservation Easement program and currently owns easements on 16 historic landmarks with a market value of over $30 million. HNI hosts an annual membership meeting, publishes an Annual Report, maintains a website, hosts educational programs such as Behind-the-Scenes tours, an annual fundraiser called the Brick & Mortar Bash, and the annual “Nashville Nine” list of the city’s most endangered historic places. For additional information, please visit www.historicnashvilleinc.org and our Facebook page.