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Old House Fair

Save the date for the 2015 Old House Fair on Saturday, March 7, 2015, Sevier Park Community Center at 3021 Lealand Avenue. Exhibitors to be announced soon.


The Metropolitan Historical Commission Foundation and partners will host the 2015 Old House Fair on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the Sevier Park Community Center, 3021 Lealand Avenue. The Old House Fair is a FREE day-long festival showcasing new ideas, practical advice, innovative materials, and quality services for homeowners to learn more about sustainable and historic products and services, and gain tips for planning and executing your project.

The OHF will include presentations and hand-on demonstrations, such as:

  • enhancing energy efficiency
  • funding your rehab
  • evaluations of defining features and replacement materials
  • dealing with toxic substances such as lead paint and asbestos
  • repairing windows and faux painting
  • children's activities

Exhibitors included companies, retailers, and artists experienced in working with homes of many ages and styles, from Antebellum to Mid-century Modern.

Know a young preservationist? We’ll have children’s activities, too!

Opportunity to win great raffle items donated by our exhibitors and sponsors.

Join us for lunch as the food truck Smoke Et Al will be back again, based on popular demand!

Sponsorship opportunities may be available. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact Robin Zeigler at or 862-7970 ext.79776.

Offered in 2014

Check back soon for the schedule of 2015 presentations.

Historic vs. Old

What is historic anyway? When is old just old and when is it “historic?” Find out what historians and preservationists look at to determine when a building is worthy of keeping. Fifty years is often considered a goal for a home to be considered historic but age is only one factor. Join Historic Nashville Inc. to find out more about what it means to live in historic buildings and Nashville's historic neighborhoods. Green Home Makeovers!

Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADU)

What are DADUs? Where can they be used? How can they help provide additional income? What are the design standards? Jamie Pfeffer of Pfeffer Torode Architecture will share lessons learned on meeting the required standards and taking advantage of this incentive.

Furniture Restoration Options

Debunk the myth that restoration devalues a piece of decorative art with Rosewalker Arts. Explore three different restoration solutions by reviewing past projects.

Funding Your Rehab

Learn about FHA’s 203K loan which is an all-in-one home loan for purchasing and improving a property in almost any condition. Explore how you can buy or refinance your home AND make necessary improvements with just one loan! Learn how this loan is different from other types of financing, what types of properties qualify and what type of buyers are good candidates for this loan. Not all lenders or loan officers have expertise with this type of loan. This session will be led by Craig Morren, a 203K Renovation Specialist at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Pieces of the Whole

Knowing the “style” of a particular house isn’t as important as recognizing the value of the building’s “character defining features.” These are the pieces that together create the whole that makes your house interesting and helps your house contribute to the character of the district. Defining features may be the form of the building, detailing inside or out, or the materials used in the building. Follow along as Claudette Stager, the Tennessee guru of architectural styles and features, shows examples of character defining features. You will learn how to evaluate your home’s features and determine what should be kept and what could be replaced, if needed.

Green Home Makeovers

Home energy-efficiency expert Erik Daugherty explains how to effectively renovate older homes to achieve greater comfort, greater durability, improved indoor-air-quality, and improved energy-efficiency. Erik Daugherty grew up in Nashville, earned a graduate degree in sustainable development in Sweden, and founded E3 INNOVATE to help improve the energy efficiency of existing and new homes.

To Replace or Not to Replace

That is the question. Or is it? Actually the tougher question is what to replace with what. Good preservation calls for repair rather than replacement, whenever possible. But what do you do when that isn’t possible? There are more choices now than ever before for replacement siding, windows and trim and the choices can be overwhelming. Preservation consultant, Phil Thomason, has advised many communities on this very issue and will walk through best practices for analyzing the longevity, cost and impact on historic character of various replacement materials commonly available today. Learn to determine what best fits your goals and makes the most sense for your property and pocket book.

Healthy Home Assessment Strategies

The Tennessee Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Program generates awareness of residential hazards by using the house as a system model and focusing in on seven essential principles of, keep it: dry, clean, pest-free, ventilated, safe, contaminant-free and maintained. Using a general knowledge of hazards and the year the home was built, we can assess the probability of the home having lead based paint, or the presence of mold based on moisture infiltration. These quick assessments and our evaluation of conditions that contribute to why a house stays extremely cold in the winter or extremely hot in the summer, can better help with the preservation of these treasured ‘old houses’ that are our homes.

Old Homes Can Be Comfortable (and Energy Efficient)

Join Jeff Middlebrooks, owner of Nashville Home Energy Solutions, as he examines cost effective improvements that will make your home more energy efficient, comfortable and valuable. Jeff, too, once lived in a drafty, energy inefficient home. Come take a humorous, virtual tour of energy efficiency improvements he has made at his own historic home and hear him share valuable lessons he learned the hard way. Jeff Middlebrooks is Nashville's original HERS Rater (certified home energy auditor). He has helped hundreds of Middle Tennessee homeowners and builders make their homes more energy efficient, healthy and comfortable.

2014 Children's Activities

Ongoing: Tennessee History for Kids

A coloring area and posters from Tennessee History for Kids.

Ongoing: Architectural Scavenger Hunt

Old Houses are like mysteries - you never know what you may find! Children are welcome to join in on an Old House Fair scavenger hunt on the grounds of The Martin Center, weather permitting. Clues created by Historic Nashville Inc. will lead them throughout campus and educate about the mysteries of old homes- then back for a prize!

Bluebirds Need Homes Too!

Join our neighbors from Vintage Millworks to build bluebird houses. Bluebirds are “Cavity Nesters”, making them prime candidates for a Bird House. Your child will have the opportunity to construct his or her own bluebird home using pre-cut and pre-drilled pieces of wood. The result will be a house that meets a bluebird’s requirements, and something your child can use to watch and learn more about the bluebird. Children will be working with nails and hammers.

2014 Demonstrations

Faux is Fabulous

Faux painting has a long history, even before we started constructing homes. Woodgrain Studios will show the many stages of two types of faux painting popular in the 18th and 19th centuries: woodgraining and marbling. See each step of the process involved with this historic art form while learning how it was traditionally used inside of historic homes. Woodgrain Studios graining and marbling may be viewed at Tennessee State Capitol, Tennessee State Museum, and the Croft House at the Nashville Zoo/Grassmere

Hidden Secrets of Historic Windows

It can be more cost effective, as energy efficient as replacement windows, and greener to repair existing windows rather than replace them. Learn the different components that make up a historic window and reveal the secrets behind their easy repair including how to replace sash ropes and weather stripping.

A Slick Bevel: Reglazing Your Sash

There is little that will change the outward appearance of your classic wood windows like the seamless bevel of a freshly glazed and painted sash. Come learn tips, techniques, and tools with The Standard Sash that will convert your crumbling and cracking putty into the weather-resistant and aesthetically-pleasing element it was meant to be. Bring a DIY attitude and a steady hand to test what you've learned on sample sashes because practice makes perfect with this old craft.