Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation GNRCThe Greater Nashville Regional Council is comprised of a thirteen-county area and includes a diverse and rich heritage and culture of both urban built environments and rural landscapes. Situated at the heart of Middle Tennessee, the region consists of a range of historic, cultural, and architectural resources located within urban and small town downtown areas, railroad depots and public squares, residential areas, commercial or aging industrial districts, civic spaces, and rural landscapes. Resources are exhibited as Main Street business districts, residential neighborhoods, relics from old mining or distilling operations, a community church or school, a cemetery, a rural family farm or estate, including antebellum plantations – which together represent the heritage of many area Tennesseans.

Historic Preservation GNRCUnderlying the practice of preservation is a theory that historic sites and buildings are valuable and worth recognizing, honoring, and protecting as remaining physical reminders of our collective and individual memory.  Frequently, these places and structures also represent the cornerstone of community life as well as significantly contribute to local identity, particularly as artifacts that help convey a region’s distinctive sense of place.  In addition, some more philosophical motivations view historic preservation as highly effective economic development and/or revitalization tools within Main Street districts and adjacent neighborhoods, and enhance a vital heritage tourism industry.  Historic preservation offers not only the satisfaction of knowing that recognized resources will be protected for future generations, but also the promise of significant economic revitalization utilizing adaptive reuse approaches and techniques.

Preservation as a Craft

Historic Preservation GNRCThe historic preservation of area historic and culture resources takes many forms and can include the use of various grant and/or funding mechanisms available. A variety of funding opportunities also exist to help interpret and/or creatively restore through adaptive reuse the historic or cultural resource in a manner that allows not only for continued use of the structure or resource, but also further engages the public as well.  Whether envisioned as a trailhead, interpretive visitor center, a park’s community house, or it remain as part of a private property, the historic and/or cultural resource will be identified and documented, including proposed plans for future rehabilitation, interpretation, and reuse.

Preservation in Action

Historic Preservation GNRCThe position of the Historic Preservation Planner is funded in part by the Tennessee Historical Commission, which receives fund from the Department of Interior, National Park Service. The mission of the Tennessee Historical Commission is to encourage the inclusive diverse study of Tennessee’s history for the benefit of future generations; to protect, preserve, interpret, operate, maintain, and administer historic sites; to mark important locations, persons, and events in Tennessee history; to assist in worthy publication projects; to review, comment on and identify projects that will potentially impact state-owned and non-state-owned historic properties; to locate, identify, record and nominate to the National Register of Historic Places all properties which meet National Register criteria, and to implement other programs of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended (For more info, see http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/section/thc-tennessee-historical-commission).

For additional information see the THC web-site or contact Tonya Blades, Regional Preservation Planner, at 615-862-8857 or tblades@gnrc.org