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40th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

2501 Oakland Avenue
Historic Preservation Awards, May 19, 2015

39th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co. - 1628 Fatherland Street
Historic Preservation Awards, May 28, 2014

38th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

Ryman Lofts – 100 Middleton Street
Historic Preservation Awards, May 29, 2013

Preservation Awards

For forty years, the Metropolitan Historical Commission has recognized outstanding efforts to preserve Nashville’s historic architecture with its annual Preservation Awards program.

40th Annual Preservation Awards

The Metropolitan Historical Commission celebrated its 40th Annual Preservation Awards program on May 19, 2015 at the Nashville Public Library, downtown. Sixteen properties received awards and twelve received honorable mentions. Mayor Karl Dean assisted with presenting awards in the categories of Residential, Educational and Institutional, Commercial, and Infill architecture. After the awards presentation, Historic Nashville, Inc. and the Historical Commission hosted a reception honoring all participants, at L&C Tower, 401 Church Street, with special thanks to CJ’s Catering.

Judges for the 2015 Preservation Awards were Melissa Wyllie, president of Found Feather Communications, Howard Kittell, president and CEO of the Andrew Jackson Foundation, and Patrick Gilbert, AIA, LEED AP, with Gresham, Smith and Partners.

“The Preservation Awards program is one of the Historical Commission’s longest-running and most popular programs. This year, in addition to celebrating our fortieth program, we also received a record sixty nominations. It’s great to see what is happening across the county with these outstanding restoration and rehabilitation projects, and to recognize the perseverance, attention to detail, and creativity that homeowners, business owners, and organizations devote to preservation projects throughout the year,” said Tim Walker, Executive Director.

In the Residential category, the judges recognized 300 Lauderdale Drive in Cherokee Park, 816 Meridian Street in McFerrin Park, 1309 Forrest Avenue and 1801 Fatherland Street in Lockeland Springs, and 1725 Linden Avenue and 2501 Oakland Avenue in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood with Preservation Awards for their sensitive additions and overall maintenance of the historic character of their properties. Honorable mentions were presented to 314 Scott Avenue in Eastwood, 745 Roycroft Place in Woodland in Waverly, 1711 18th Avenue South and 1903 Linden Avenue in Belmont-Hillsboro, and 3705 Richland Avenue in the Richland-West End neighborhood.

In the Infill category, the judges awarded Preservation Awards to 321 South 11th Street in East End, 1802 Lakehurst Drive in Little Hollywood, 1831 4th Avenue North in Germantown, and 2401 Fairfax Avenue in the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood for their attention to the surrounding historic context and appropriate scaling of these beautiful new additions to historic neighborhoods. The judges recognized 800 North 14th Street, 919 Petway Avenue and 1107 Lillian Street in East Nashville, 903 Jackson Street in Hope Gardens, 1807 4th Avenue North in Germantown, and 2403 Fairfax Avenue in the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood with honorable mentions.

In the Educational and Institutional Category, Highland Heights School/KIPP Academy at 123 Douglas Avenue in the Highland Heights neighborhood was given a Preservation Award for their incorporation of 21st century educational technology that does not detract from the 1930s character of the historic portion of the school. The judges also commended the project for its adherence to LEED standards. A Preservation Award was also presented to Vanderbilt University's Alumni Memorial Hall at 2201 West End Avenue. This renovation maintained the integrity of the 1920s Neo-Tudor architecture while incorporating modern amenities needed to foster a creative and sociable collegiate environment.

The Commercial category honored The Warehouse at 6th and Taylor, located at 1329 6th Avenue North, and Butchertown Hall, 1416 4th Avenue North, in the Germantown neighborhood for revitalizing non-historic buildings and enhancing them so as to contribute visually and economically to the community. The Melrose restaurant and retail center, located at 2600 Franklin Pike in Berry Hill, was awarded a Preservation Award for maintaining the integrity of the iconic Melrose Theater building and updating it for modern use. In Bells Bend, the Wade School, 5022 Old Hydes Ferry Pike, received a Preservation Award for saving an important Works Progress Administration (WPA) school from neglect and ruin, and turning it into a thriving office and event space. The Aerial Development Headquarters at 521 5th Avenue South received an honorable mention for work done on the former Jewish fraternal organization lodge.

The Metropolitan Historical Commission presented the Achievement Award to Mike Curb for his unwavering dedication to the research, documentation, and preservation of Nashville and our country’s music history for the benefit of present and future generations. The Commission honored the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere with the Commissioners' Award for its dedication to protect and research the history of the enslaved cemetery at Grassmere Farm, and to promote the full understanding and appreciation of life at Grassmere Farm in the 19th century. Previously presented to Nashville mayors Phil Bredesen and Bill Purcell, the Preservation Leadership Award is given at the Commission’s discretion, to recognize outstanding leadership in Nashville history. Former Mayor of Forest Hills Bill Coke received this award for his commitment to educating the public about the history of Forest Hills and working to preserve the history therein, including the Kellytown Native American site.

The 2015 program marks the 40th year of the Preservation Awards event, held annually to coincide with the national celebration of Preservation Month. The local theme this year was “Keep Nashville Unique,” inspired by Historic Nashville, Inc.

For more information about the Preservation Awards program and this year’s winners, please call the Historical Commission at 615-862-7970.

History Of the Preservation Awards Program

The Metropolitan Historical Commission’s Preservation Awards program began in 1973 as an Architectural Awards program. Miss Margaret Lindsley Warden, a charter member and former chair of the MHC, had the idea to create an incentive for people to preserve historic buildings. metropolitan historical commission architectural award plaqueShe had observed how successful prizes were in horse shows and had heard of similar awards programs for preservation of buildings in other cities.

In 1973, the purpose was stated as:

1) To stimulate interest in owners of pertinent buildings to preserve and restore them with authenticity, and
2) To spread information, i.e., to educate the community, on the merits (architectural and historical) and contemporary uses of distinguished buildings of the past.

The awards were originally aimed at residences, but the categories have increased as the need arose. In 1973 the categories included dwellings, offices, and historic districts. In 1997 those properties were expanded to six categories: residences (both single and multi-family structures), commercial buildings, religious properties, educational and institutional buildings, engineering and industrial structures, and infill construction.

Since 1973, nearly 350 awards have gone to a broad range of historic structures – dwellings, churches, commercial and industrial buildings, schools, even to bridges and new developments. Nominated by the public, they are honored for their sensitivity to the original architecture and the surrounding environment, creativity in adaptation for contemporary use, architectural merit and/or historic interest, long-term maintenance, adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and pioneering spirit. The public awards ceremony coincides with National Preservation Month, which is celebrated every year in May.

Mayor Karl Dean and Ann RobertsToday, in addition to recognizing various preservation projects, the Commission recognizes individuals and groups with the Achievement and Commissioners’ Awards. The Achievement Award is given to an individual in recognition of his/her extraordinary leadership in preserving Nashville’s history -- either through research and writing history or through advocacy and raising public awareness of history and preservation. The Commissioners' Award recognizes a group, program, or project that enhances Nashville’s history and historic resources. It is designed to honor projects that do not fit within the traditional preservation award categories. Achievement and Commissioners’ Awards are selected by the Historical Commission.

In the early years, the Commission held a separate event to recognize various individuals, groups, and projects that were involved in the preservation of the built environment and the promotion of our local history. Eventually, the two awards programs were combined. In recent years, the name of the new program changed to “Preservation Awards” to acknowledge the diversity of individuals, groups, and types of projects receiving awards.

Participation In the Preservation Awards Program

For the 41st Annual Preservation Awards program, nomination forms and digital images of the nominated property will be due in March 2016. To be considered, nominated properties must be located in Davidson County and, with the exception of the infill construction category, must have been built no later than 1963. Buildings open to the public as historic sites are not eligible. Previous winners MAY be eligible if the work is significantly different.

For more information about the Preservation Awards program, please call the Metropolitan Historical Commission at (615) 862-7970 or email