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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.

41st Annual Preservation Awards

May 4, 2016

The Metropolitan Historical Commission kicked off its celebration of National Preservation Month by presenting Preservation Awards to eleven properties and recognizing six properties with honorable mentions at the 41st Annual Preservation Awards program on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.The event took place in the Nashville Public Library Conference Center; Mayor Megan Barry assisted with the awards presentation. After the awards ceremony, 20|20, Historic Nashville, Inc., the MHC Foundation, and the Historical Commission hosted a reception honoring all participants at The Frost Building, 161 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard.

Forty-four properties were nominated this year in the categories of Residential, Commercial, and Infill architecture. The program also included the addition of the Monuments and Memorials category to recognize the restoration of cemeteries, monuments, stone walls, and other property types that contribute to the historic fabric of Nashville’s neighborhoods but do not fit the program’s traditional categories of architecture. Judges for the 2016 Preservation Awards were Carolyn Brackett, Senior Field Officer with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Julie Robison, Architectural Designer with Ford Custom Classic Homes, and Kaitlin Dastugue, Planning and Policy Manager for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. The judges visited each nominated property and selected the following winners:


  • The design for 1518 Long Avenue was inspired by popular Folk Victorian residential architecture. The scale, massing, and carefully considered decorative details help the new residence fit into the site, making it a good neighbor to the existing street.
  • Less than a year old, the “residential urban farmhouse” at 1411 Ordway Place appears to have really settled into the street and established its place among its neighbors. The judges appreciated the modern mix of farmhouse details with carefully selected reclaimed and vintage design elements.

Monuments and Memorials:

  • The rehabilitation of the White-Ogden Cemetery at 1503 Lischey Avenue included the clearing of trees and overgrowth; restacking of the original stone fence; cleaning and repair of all gravestones; and the installation of a sign at the cemetery entrance and a marker at the tomb of General William White, III. The award-winning project also led to the discovery of an additional, previously unrecognized, unmarked burial.


  • Old Glory Bar in Edgehill Village recently opened in the original boiler room of the former White Way Cleaners complex. The judges awarded the project for its innovation in transforming the industrial space into a gathering place. The end result is a creative mix of specially-commissioned modern design elements with disused historic utilitarian features.
  • Its hallowed history coupled with its success as an award-winning venue meant that the Ryman Auditorium had long outgrown its 1993 addition. The judges awarded the renovation and expansion project for its sensitivity to the building’s phases of construction and improvements to the visitor experience. The glass pavilion addition, the enhanced plaza space, and the copper feature wall create a more welcoming and inviting feel for patrons as well as the public passing by.
  • By the early 2000s, the Morris Jacobs Building at 307 Wilburn Street, like the neighboring Roxy Theater, was in severe disrepair. The floor was missing, the roof had partially collapsed, and mature trees were growing inside. The award-winning project included structural repairs and a new roof, floor, and storefront windows.


  • The judges recognized the “eclectic private cottage” at 1800 Holly Street with an award for the creative adaptive reuse of an accessory structure. The conversion required significant structural repairs to make the interior livable. A new arbor and decorative brackets provide visual interest along the street, while brick patios and the new carport expand the small living space to the outdoors.
  • The judges awarded 1612 Linden Avenue for a renovation project that replaced and enlarged an early addition to the home. The design, scale, and materials of the new space skillfully bridge the connection between the original historic home and a recent addition.
  • The award-winning rehabilitation of 3809 Whitland Avenue required roof and structural repairs due to extensive water damage. The team took great care with meticulously removing the brick from the façade and reinstalling it after the front wall was structurally repaired. The project also included a new rear addition.
  • The judges awarded the project at 1312 7th Avenue North for reversing non-historic alterations, including removing vinyl siding from the exterior. The team replicated wood siding, windows, millwork, and trim to replace elements that were non-historic or that it could not salvage, using original pieces as guides.
  • The rehabilitation of 2616 Belmont Boulevard also required structural and cosmetic repairs. The historic stucco exterior of the original house was preserved and restored, and the broad, horizontal eaves were reconstructed and stabilized, as were the crumbling limestone foundation walls. The award-winning project included a new rear addition.

The judges recognized the following properties with honorable mentions:

  • The judges recognized 210 Mockingbird Road with an honorable mention in the Infill category for its compatibility with its historic neighbors in massing and scale. The design takes inspiration from the Tudor Revival homes in the Cherokee Park neighborhood without being imitative.
  • After eighty years of exposure to the elements, the bronze plaques on the World War I – First Tennessee Infantry Monument in Percy Warner Park were in need of refinishing. The project included on-site cleaning of the granite and landscaping improvements at the monument plaza. The judges recognized the project with an honorable mention in the Monuments and Memorials category.
  • In the Commercial category, the judges recognized Poppy & Monroe at 604 Monroe Street with an honorable mention for renovations that maintained the integrity of the historic home while adapting it for commercial use.
  • The judges also recognized Germantown Market at 1120 4th Avenue North with an honorable mention in the Commercial category. The original portion of this property was built as a two-story residence. Over the years, the property has housed several commercial ventures, including a cinema called the Peafowl Theater from 1915 to 1930, and has expanded through numerous additions. Overcoming a disparate mix of building materials, construction techniques, and structural conditions, the property now hosts three restaurants and offices.
  • The judges recognized 1114 North 14th Street with an honorable mention in the Residential category for sensitive updates to the original home, including repairs to the exterior and a new rear addition.
  • Originally built as a 900 square foot single family home, the renovation of 1511 Dallas Avenue included a rear addition as well repairs to the exterior, reversing some non-historic changes to the home and salvaging and reusing materials when possible. The judges recognized this project in the Residential category with an honorable mention.

The Metropolitan Historical Commission presented the Achievement Award to Dr. Carroll Van West for excellence in the documentation, preservation, and interpretation of Nashville’s historic places and its unique local history. The Commission honored The Friends of Two Rivers Mansion with its Commissioners' Award for dedication to the preservation, restoration, and promotion of Two Rivers Mansion. Named in honor of Fletch Coke and her extraordinary efforts to preserve the history and historic landmarks of Nashville and Davidson County, the Commission presented the Fletch Coke Award to Deborah Oeser Cox for her commitment to archival research, writing, and education about Nashville’s local history and its historic places.

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.

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

Nominations for the 42nd Annual Preservation Awards program are due March 10, 2017. 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 1965. 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

Preservation Awards Photo Galleries

41st Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

Poppy & Monroe, 604 Monroe Street
Historic Preservation Awards, May 4, 2016

40th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

The Raley Family Home, 816 Meridian Street
Historic Preservation Awards, May 19, 2015

39th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

216-B 38th Ave N
Historic Preservation Awards, May 28, 2014

38th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

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