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Historic Preservation Awards

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

42nd Annual Preservation Awards

The Metropolitan Historical Commission kicked off its celebration of National Preservation Month by presenting Preservation Awards to eleven properties and recognizing two properties with honorable mentions at the 42nd Annual Preservation Awards program on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The event took place in the Nashville Public Library Conference Center; Mayor Megan Barry assisted with the awards presentation. After the awards ceremony, Waller, Historic Nashville, Inc., and the Historical Commission hosted a reception honoring all participants at the offices of Waller, Nashville City Center, 511 Union Street.

Over forty properties were nominated this year in the categories of Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Engineering, and Infill architecture. The program also included 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 2017 Preservation Awards were Menié Bell, partner in the Joel Solomon Company and 1221 Partners and a member of the Historical and Historic Zoning Commissions, Nick Dryden, founding principal and design lead of Dryden Architecture and Design (DAAD), and Blythe Semmer, Senior Program Analyst at the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The judges visited the nominated properties and selected the following winners:

Residential Category

The judges recognized 305 Kent Road (listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Hall-Harding-McCampbell House) with an award for a rehabilitation project that restored interior finishes to the home and replaced unsound 1960s additions to the home with a carefully designed new addition. The once-neglected home has been returned to a safe and sound condition.

The award-winning rehabilitation of the Hyde-Stephens Home at 3111 Hydes Ferry Road required meticulous repairs to the foundation, exterior cladding, plaster walls, and roof as well as updates to all of the systems. The team took great care with the project, maintaining the historic floor plan and accommodating the kitchen and bathroom in the rebuilt enclosed back porch.

The judges awarded the project at 1507 Linden Avenue for the restoration of original features and an addition that integrates well with the historic home. The addition is carefully contained within the narrow footprint of the original structure, maintaining its unique character in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood.

The award-winning project at 4410 Truxton Place involved interior renovations as well as the addition of a garage, screened-in porch, pool, and pool house to the property. The additions respect the relatively modest scale of Edwin Keeble’s original 1967 design and do not overwhelm the house. Estate homes relate as much or more to their grounds as to neighboring houses, and the award-winning landscape design complements the gracious design and human scale of the renovations.

Infill Category

The design for 1525 Fatherland Street is a modern interpretation of a Victorian cottage—with a twist. The home features a 10-degree twist which orients the living areas of the home into the backyard while providing privacy on a corner lot. The neighborly side of the house is more traditional, while the street side is more playful. The judges agreed that this is a design that will stand the test of time, just like its historic neighbors.

The Lillian Trio: 1113, 1115, and 1201 Lillian Street, met the challenge of the uphill slope on the hilly side of Lillian Street with a trio of unique, yet cohesive designs that maintain a pedestrian scale. The award-winning project relies on carports at the back of the property instead of parking pads along the street. The siting, along with the lower eave heights and open porches, helps the homes feel approachable and connected to the neighborhood.

GentryWay, located at 207-225 Gentry Avenue, is a 10-home community that features two home styles – the classic courtyard and the contemporary laneway. The courtyard homes facing Gentry Avenue include a renovated historic home nestled among three new homes. The six laneway homes feature large windows and roll-up doors to expand the living space outdoors. The project offers several housing options within one development and is an innovative model for combining renovation and new construction.

Monuments and Memorials Category

The rehabilitation of the Shane Cemetery on Hoggett Ford Road involved clearing trees and overgrowth, marking the entrance and boundary corners with posts, and resetting head and foot stones. The award-winning project led to the location of over 30 graves and the identification of stones for Morris and Phoebe Shane, who purchased land on the Stones River from Phoebe’s father in 1790.

Commercial Category

The award-winning rehabilitation of The Station: Historic Fire Hall for Engine Company 18 at 1220 Gallatin Avenue involved adapting a former fire hall to office and retail space. Throughout the building, the project team encountered structural issues and damage from fire, termites, water, and general neglect. This once-endangered property is a beloved community landmark, and despite the many challenges, the project team honored its unique history with thoughtful decisions and care throughout the extensive rehabilitation.

The judges awarded the renovation and expansion of the Belcourt Theatre at 2102 Belcourt Avenue for honoring the history of this treasured community landmark, including its distinct phases of construction, while enhancing the employee and patron experience with improved accessibility features and new spaces for offices and expanded programming. Exterior details marking “old” from “new,” the pedestrian plaza, and the windows along the façade help build excitement for theatergoers and connection with the neighborhood.

Industrial and Engineering Category

The judges recognized the Omohundro Water Treatment Plant with a Preservation Award. The multi-year project addressed three buildings on the Omohundro campus—the Pump Station, Boiler House, and Water Intake No. 1. These historic buildings, the oldest ones dating from 1888, are integral to the functioning of Nashville's water system. Highlights of the project included new clay tile roofs, cleaned and repaired exterior masonry (including underwater repointing on the water intake structure), and restored steel frame windows. Additionally, the Boiler House was transformed into a dynamic office building that highlights its early industrial history and retains several artifacts such as remnants from the coal hopper system.

Honorable Mentions

The judges recognized 2805 Belmont Boulevard with an honorable mention in the Residential category for the faithful rehabilitation of the home completed over the course of several years. The judges also admired the sympathetic rear addition.

In the Commercial category, the judges recognized YoungLife Nashville at 1515 16th Avenue South with an honorable mention. The project involved converting an existing residence into offices, which included the addition of an exterior staircase, increased floor loads, and an expansion of the rear dormer to create a fully functional second floor. Exterior work included careful treatment of the woodwork and stone.

Additional Awards

The Metropolitan Historical Commission presented the Achievement Award to James H. “Jim” Fyke for his dedication to the development of Metropolitan Nashville’s parks, greenways, and recreational sites, and the preservation of its many historic resources.

The Commission honored the Belmont Mansion Association with its Commissioners' Award for dedication to the preservation, restoration, and promotion of Belmont 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 Kathy B. Lauder and Mike Slate for their commitment to research, writing, and education about Nashville’s local history and its historic places through the Nashville Historical Newsletter and other endeavors.

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 Metropolitan Historical Commission at 615-862-7970 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. 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.

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.

Participation In the Preservation Awards Program

Nominations for the 43rd Annual Preservation Awards program are due in March 2018. 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 1968. 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 scarlett.miles@nashville.gov.

Preservation Awards Photo Galleries

42nd Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

Omohundro Water Treatment Plant
Historic Preservation Awards, May 10, 2017

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

2401 Fairfax Avenue
Historic Preservation Awards, May 19, 2015

39th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

Calvary United Methodist Church-Hillsboro Pike Stone Wall
Historic Preservation Awards, May 28, 2014

38th Annual Historic Preservation Awards Photo Gallery

The Bridge Building
Historic Preservation Awards, May 29, 2013