The 2017 Nashville Nine was nominated by members of the community and represents the first time in the organization’s history that only one property was chosen. Historic Nashville made the unprecedented decision to include only one property on its annual Nashville Nine endangered properties list. This decision was made because we felt the threat to Fort Negley Park was extraordinary, urgent, and worthy of our undivided attention. We want to remind our members, however, that Historic Nashville will continue to advocate for all properties previously listed on our Nashville Nine that remain endangered.
For Negley Park contains a nationally-significant Civil War fort constructed by African American labor. Acquired by the city in the 1920s, the public park was threatened by redevelopment of the 13-acre Greer Stadium section of the park. In 2017, the city issued a request for proposals on what to do with the abandoned Greer Stadium, a minor league baseball stadium constructed in the 1970s on parkland. The city chose Cloud Hill, a mixed-use project that would have constructed hundreds of apartments, retail, and commercial spaces.
A city funded archaeological survey determined that a large section of the Greer Stadium site contained human graves, likely of the former slaves that built the Civil War fort, and other undisturbed sites of archaeological significance. This remarkable discovery along with immense outcry from the public, including community leaders, preservationists, historians, community groups, and elected officials, led the Cloud Hill developers to pull out of their redevelopment plans. Moreover, the mayor made the decision to cancel the request for proposals and effectively cancel the project. The future of the Greer Stadium portion of Fort Negley Park is still undecided, but we continue to advocate that the stadium be demolished and the site be returned to parkland to preserve this historic site and protect the hallowed ground.
Historic Nashville works to promote and advocate for the recognition of historic places and the impact they have on the culture, commerce and creativity of the city. We are proud that Fort Negley Park will join the list of landmarks that Historic Nashville has successfully assisted in preserving over the years such as the Ryman Auditorium, Union Station, and the Hermitage Hotel.