For over forty years, the Metropolitan Historical Commission has recognized outstanding efforts to preserve Nashville’s historic architecture with its annual Preservation Awards program. For a list and map of previous award winners, from 1973 to the present, please visit the Preservation Awards dataset on Metro Nashville's Open Data Portal.
43rd Annual Preservation Awards
The Metropolitan Historical Commission celebrated National Preservation Month by presenting Preservation Awards to fifteen properties and recognizing five properties with honorable mentions at the 43rd Annual Preservation Awards program on Monday, May 21, 2018. The event took place in the Nashville Public Library Conference Center; Mayor David Briley assisted with the awards presentation. After the awards ceremony, the Metro Historical Commission Foundation, Historic Nashville, Inc., and the Historical Commission hosted a reception honoring all participants at the Noelle hotel, 200 Fourth Avenue North.
Nearly forty properties were nominated this year in the categories of Monuments and Memorials, Residential, Commercial, Educational and Institutional, and Infill architecture. Judges for the 2018 Preservation Awards were Jenn Harrman, Board President for Historic Nashville, Inc., Cyril Stewart, architect and member of the Historic Zoning Commission, and Renee Tavares, former preservation planner with the Southwest Tennessee Development District. The judges visited the nominated properties and selected the following winners:
- 1817 Fourth Avenue North
- 751 Benton Avenue
- 1208 Russell Street
- 143 Windsor Drive
- Lucinda’s House at Historic Idlewild (712 Neely’s Bend Road)
- 804 Canton Pass
Educational and Institutional:
- Buchanan-Harding House, 3130 McGavock Pike
- 1218 & 1220 Lillian Street
- The Jenkins, Belmont and Blair Boulevards
- 3726 Richland Avenue
Monuments and Memorials:
- Percy Warner Memorial Sandstone Entrance, Percy Warner Park
- Henry Compton, Sr., Cemetery, Tyne Boulevard
- Geist Forge Building, 311 Jefferson Street
- Noelle, 200 Fourth Avenue North
- Layman Drug Company, 1128 Third Avenue South
The judges recognized the following properties with honorable mentions:
- 2308 Belmont Boulevard
- 714 Russell Street
- 202 Craighead Avenue
- 2315 Vaulx Lane
- Rudy Title East, 608 Shelby Avenue
The Metropolitan Historical Commission presented the Achievement Award to Lorenzo Washington of Jefferson Street Sound for his dedication to the documentation, preservation, and promotion of Jefferson Street’s musical heritage. The Commission honored the Friends of Fort Negley with its Commissioners' Award for dedication to the preservation, protection, and promotion of Fort Negley Park. In addition, the Commission presented the Fletch Coke Award to Jean Roseman for her commitment to educating the public about the history of Nashville’s Jewish community through research, writing, and speaking engagements.
The Preservation Awards program is held in celebration of National Preservation Month, which is observed nationally each year in May. This year’s theme is “This Place Matters.” Sponsored annually by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the purpose of Preservation Month is to celebrate the country’s diverse and irreplaceable heritage.
For more information about the Preservation Awards program and this year’s winners, please call the Historical Commission at 862-7970 or email Scarlett.Miles@Nashville.Gov.
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. She 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 the 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, over 400 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.
Today, in addition to recognizing various preservation projects, the Commission recognizes individuals and groups with a select number of special awards, including 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 2016, the Commission introduced the Fletch Coke Award, named in honor of Fletch Coke and her extraordinary efforts to preserve the history and historic landmarks of Nashville and Davidson County. Recipients are selected for their tenacity, curious spirit, and excellence in historical research, writing, and promotion of Nashville's local history and historic places.
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
Nominations for the 44th Annual Preservation Awards program are due Friday, March 8, 2019. Submit digital images of the property via CD, flash drive, or Dropbox to Scarlett.Miles@Nashville.gov (you may include a digital copy of the nomination form along with your photos).
For more information about the Preservation Awards program, please call the Metropolitan Historical Commission at 615-862-7970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.