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2005-09-25
Nashville, TN. Country Music Starís Home Demolish For Home Depot

Everything has its price -- even history. This week, a developer proceeded to demolish a home known as Evergreen Place, which is on a list called "Ten in Tennessee" published by the Tennessee Preservation Trust. The list is "a roster of the state's most-endangered historic sites." Now they can remove one of the top ten endangered sites, all to pave the way for another orange Home Depot. Evergreen Place was 208 years old. The house also was the home of the Jim Reeves Museum, country music legend. Now it will promote sheet rock instead of sheet music. "It's a corpse," the vice president of the Tennessee Preservation Trust told the Tennessean newspaper this week. "It was telling a story from 208 years ago. Hydraulics and machinery were used as a weapon to commit a crime. Due process has been violated." The owner of the home and its 15 acres, has it under option to Home Depot. The city gave the owner a demolition permit, but hours later, at the request of preservation officials, they rescinded the permit, and posted a stop work order at the site. But the owner demolished the home anyway. The owner told the newspaper that his demolition team arrived at 5:30 pm and did not see the stop work order. 208 years of history was torn down in an hour and a half. One of the neighbors who said he regretted not seeing the property restored, admitted that he was selling out to the developer. "They're going to buy my place," he said. "They went up three times on the price. They want to build it up." Evergreen Place was one of the earliest homes in Nashville. It was a "dog-trot style" home, and was more recently used for the Jim Reeves Museum. Reeves was a country music singer whose hits included Four Walls, Welcome to My World and Distant Drums. Now the Jim Reeves museum is No Walls, and will serve as a Welcome to My Home Depot instead.

What you can do: Is there some obvious answer for why Nashville needed to destroy one of its oldest homes for another Home Depot? Is there some genetic flaw at Home Depot that allows them to condone the destruction of historic properties, given the fact that Nashville undoubtedly had other properties to offer the home improvement chain? I thought Home Depot was supposed to help people build homes -- not tear them down. Once again the dollar takes precedent over the cultural legacy of a place. One has to wonder what the original builder of the home, a Presbyterian Minister, would have thought if he had been told his creation would eventually be torn down to make way for a single story, flat-roofed, dead piece of architecture nearly four acres in size? Nashville officials dropped the ball here, but the real blame for this wasteful destruction lies at the feet of Home Depot, which had no business signing an option for this property. For an earlier story on this case, search Newsflash by "Jim Reeves."










 
 
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