Music Row: Officially An Endangered Historic Landmark
Photo: Tourism Media

Music Row: Officially An Endangered Historic Landmark

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NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) Nashville’s Music Row, the location of much of country music history, has officially been placed on a list by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Places.”

The famed location was once the home to country music’s recording studios (where Patsy Cline recorded “Crazy” and Dolly Parton recorded “I Will Always Love You”), record companies and booking agencies, all of whom have moved to other locations while high-rise development has infiltrated the area.

“When we say we’ve seen 50 demolitions in the last 6 or 7 years, it doesn’t sound like a lot,” Carolyn Brackett, senior field officer with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, told The Tennessean. “But it’s been replaced with very large apartment and office buildings that aren’t dedicated to the music industry. If that trend continues, Music Row won’t be here in 50 years.”

The encroachment into Music Row even threatened RCA Studio A, founded by Chet Atkins and was not only the recording studio for Elvis Presley but where Chris Stapleton recorded his aptly named From A Room albums. Musician Ben Folds led an effort in 2014 that succeeded in keeping the studio from being demolished to make room for condos.

Recently, the Bobby’s Idle Hour Tavern, a place of respite for Nashville songwriters, was relocated to make room for a new office building, according to the Tennessean. The community has drafted a plan that would require smaller offices and residential areas and also allow for cafes, coffee shops, bars, live music venues, and restaurants to enter into the area, which currently has restrictions on them.

The new designation is considered a godsend to some.

“This designation is the happiest we’ve ever been receiving bad news,” Elizabeth Elkins, vice president of the board of Historic Nashville, Inc., told the paper. “We are glad that the rapid rate of destruction of Music Row will now be in the national spotlight, as the zoning and ongoing demolitions strike at the heart of our greatest fear, which is the unabated loss of the compelling spaces that are the backbone of what makes Music City both an internationally-known destination and a unique place to live and work.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2019 “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list also includes:

  • Tenth Street Historic District, Dallas, Texas
  • James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • Industrial Trust Company Building, Providence, Rhode Island
  • Ancestral Places of Southeast Utah
  • The Excelsior Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Washington D.C.’s National Mall Tidal Basin
  • Hacienda Los Torres, Lares, Puerto Rico
  • Willert Park Courts, Buffalo, NY
  • Mount Vernon Arsenal and Searcy Hospital, Alabama
  • Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge, North Dakota