Mayor Briley Announces Plan to Make Fort Negley Park Whole Again
March 13, 2018
Funds to demolish Greer Stadium will be allocated next month while Metro Parks undertakes update to Fort Negley Master Plan
Nashville Mayor David Briley announced today that he will seek funds to demolish the old Greer Stadium to start the process of restoring that land to a park as originally intended.
“Fort Negley Park is a historic treasure for the Nashville community that has the potential to be even better once we incorporate the Greer Stadium property back into the park,” said Mayor Briley. “We have a unique opportunity to bring the community together to design a park that will honor the sacrifice of the slaves who died building this fort while providing active park space in a growing neighborhood that will be enjoyed by residents for generations to come.”
The estimated $1 million needed to demolish Greer Stadium and start turning the land into a park would come from the city’s 4% reserve fund through a request to the Metro Council in April. Following the demolition, the property will be seeded with grass while the Metro Historical Commission produces a Cultural Landscape Report that will help inform decisions by the Metro Parks Board about how best to turn this space into an active park that honors the history of the site.
“We look forward to engaging in a productive dialogue to create a more dynamic park landscape for neighborhoods out the 8th Avenue South corridor,” said George Anderson, chair of the Metro Parks Board.
In 2007, an advisory committee assembled by the Metro Parks Department updated the 1996 Fort Negley Master Plan to propose demolishing the former Nashville Sounds stadium once it was no longer needed and restoring the land to a park, as it was before the stadium was built in the 1970s. Regular use of Greer Stadium ended after the Sounds moved to First Tennessee Park following the 2014 baseball season.
Mayor Briley has asked the Parks Department to update the Fort Negley Master Plan once again to reflect the recreational needs of our city in a way that honors the rich history of this site, which was the largest inland stone fortification built during the Civil War, constructed after Nashville surrendered to the Union Army.
“We greatly appreciate Mayor Briley’s commitment to a vibrant network of parks and greenways that will enrich and improve our quality of life in Nashville,” said Monique Odom, director of the Metro Parks Department.
In 2017, Mayor Megan Barry’s administration sought public-private partnership proposals to redevelop the stadium into a mixed-use property that was ultimately awarded to the Cloud Hill Partnership. Following months of procedural delays, the Barry administration ended plans for private development after an archaeological review found considerable undisturbed soils, which the historic record indicates could contain the remains of slaves and freed African-Americans who were impressed into building Fort Negley.
“While the Cloud Hill proposal could be a great idea on another property in Nashville, the highest and best use of this site is to restore it to a historical park that can be enjoyed by Nashvillians and visitors alike,” said Mayor Briley. “I am grateful for all of the Nashvillians who have expressed a passion for doing just that and who will lend their voices and support in the coming months to make this vision a reality.”