Darden Copeland has called Nashville home for nearly 20 years. Originally from Culpeper, Virginia, he has been a student of history his entire life. After a career spent trying to shape the future by managing electoral candidate campaigns, he opened the Calvert Street Group, a public affairs firm headquartered in Nashville with offices in Washington, DC and San Francisco. His firm has lead numerous, pro-bono, historic preservation efforts – saving historic battlefields, cemeteries, and buildings in the path of real estate development and “progress”; forming and serving as a board member on the Music Industry Coalition alongside Ben Folds to save historic RCA Studio A from condo development; and worked to preserve the “Rock Block” in midtown Nashville.
In addition to his public affairs work across the country, Copeland has put his money where his mouth is. When searching for office space for his public affairs firm, Copeland purchased the Berger Building, a 1926, two-story brick masonry building in downtown Nashville. On the National Registry of Historic Places, Copeland meticulously restored the building to the original architects design and intent in 2013. Copeland has gone on to purchase several additional historic buildings in the Nashville area, most recently purchasing one of the last remaining “neighborhood grocery” buildings in the Sylvan Park neighborhood. Abandoned for five years, Copeland worked with the Nashville Historic Commission and received unanimous Planning Commission and Metro Council approval to designate the 1930 building a Neighborhood Landmark in 2023. He plans to open a small bistro/wine bar in 2024.
Copeland lives with his wife and two kids in the 12 South neighborhood – this is their third home in Nashville, and are proud each home has been in neighborhoods with strong preservation overlays. Copeland likes to say he won’t live in or buy anything that isn’t at least 90 years old, and his wife reminds him of that declaration each time they call a repair man.