Join over 5,000 Nashvillians to help save Fort Negley Park.
Choose History. Choose Parks. Not Condos.
Mayor Megan Barry's administration intends to award a for-profit developer the right to build condos and office space on Nashville's Fort Negley Park. This development would permanently destroy 21 acres of parkland in Nashville's urban core, where greenspace is dwindling because of boom-time development.
Mayor Barry's administration's development plan raises four serious problems.
If we destroy Fort Negley Park to build condos and offices, then no parkland in Nashville is safe. Downtown is already starved for greenspace.
Fort Negley is a nationally recognized Civil War Heritage site.
In 1862, hundreds of African Americans, former slaves and freedmen, worked and died here building the Union fort, the largest inland masonry fort constructed during the War. Historians believe many unmarked graves remain.
Mayor Barry's administration chose the for-profit developer through a closed-door process.
They never considered leaving Fort Negley Park a park.
Metro Council has already allocated funding for a Fort Negley Park Cultural Survey to locate the unmarked African American graves and explore the Park's historical significance.
This survey should not be rushed in Nashville's race to convert this Park to condos.
My memories of Fort Negley begin in high school: I distinctly remember stroking the back of a giant (caged!) pigeon on the roof of the Cumberland Science Museum while staring at the brambly ruins of what I would later know was the Fort. And St. Cloud Hill, with its amazing panoramic views of Nashville, served as a prime firework-watching location throughout high school and college. But I didn’t know Fort Negley intimately until December 2004, when my partner and I bought our home, just one week after Fort Negley Park reopened to the public.
"In short, Fort Negley Park is important because it is one of the foundations upon which the culture of modern-day Nashville sits. We as Nashville citizens should not value commercial development over the preservation of our culturally precious sites. And there is none more precious to Nashville’s African American history than Fort Negley Park."
The Friends of Fort Negley Park, in partnership with the Nashville chapter of the NAACP and Dr. Jane Landers and Dr. Angela Sutton of Vanderbilt University, are pleased to announce that Fort Negley Park has been nominated as a site for UNESCO’s Slave Route Project. Fort Negley Park is the first site in the United States to be nominated for such designation and would join other globally significant sites such as, Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro and Santo Domingo Square in Mexico City.
I always say, and I firmly believe, that we don’t know what the future might need from the past. Dr. Fleming didn’t know that she had any connection to Fort Negley until she happened across those names. And now she can take her family to stand where her ancestors stood. To put their hands on the rocks those ancestors placed. And, if we don’t screw it up, they will be able to walk where their ancestors camped out. If we leave them the grass to do it in, they can lay down on the same ground their ancestors slept on and know that they are the future their ancestors dreamed of in that very spot.
Brooks is right. This is a chance to preserve a place which can do that kind of important, personal work for people. It won’t come again.
Another voice is joining the opposition to a controversial redevelopment of the old Greer Stadium site near Fort Negley. Country star Leon “Kix” Brooks — half of the country duo Brooks & Dunn and owner of Arrington Vineyards — has made a passionate plea for turning the property into a park.
In post on his verified Facebook page that he begins by writing, “There is a battle looming in Nashville,” Brooks writes that plans for the controversial Cloud Hill development — led by Bert Mathews, T Bone Burnett and Tom Middleton — should not go forward.
Country music star Kix Brooks has joined the opposition to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry's proposal to redevelop the old Greer Stadium property.
Brooks, who has known to weigh in and has lent his support to Civil War preservation causes in the past, including the protection of Fort Negley, announced his opposition in a dramatic Facebook post on Tuesday.