This c. 1940 Queen Anne cottage was the home and office of Nashville native Robert Emmitt Lillard (1907-1991), an important African American attorney and civic and civil rights leader who served on the city council for decades and was Nashville’s first African American Vice Mayor Pro Tem.
Lillard’s house is the last historical structure left on the east side of 2nd Avenue South between Cameron Street and Mildred Shute Avenue. Everything else is new construction. Though some of the churches and most of the university buildings where Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement was incubated are still around, many of the office buildings and residences associated with the people and events of the movement are long-since destroyed. This is one of the last of those important spaces and it should be preserved.