Q & A with some of our Lockeland Springs neighbors

Neighbor to Neighbor: Derek Hoke

Name: Derek Hoke
Job: Musician/Host $2 Tuesdays at 5 Spot
Time in Lockeland Springs: 20 years
October 2017

 

Where are you from originally? I was born in Brunswick, GA, but grew up in Florence, SC. A pretty small town about an hour or so from the beach. It’s where I-20 and I-95 intersect. Lots of gas stations and truck stops.

What brought you to Nashville and why did you chose Lockeland Springs? In 1997, I visited a friend that had just moved to Nashville. While driving home, I had it in my head that I wanted to live there. I loved it. So, in 1999, I moved into a tiny apartment near Hillsboro Village. My very first gig was at the original Radio Cafe in East Nashville. I also started hanging out at The Slow Bar a lot, too (now 3 Crow Bar). I just loved the vibe of the neighborhood. In 2004, I moved to the East Side.

Your current house was on the Home Tour last year – tell us a little bit about the house and the work you did to it. It’s in the Little Hollywood enclave. I’m lucky to live here. It was almost torn down to split the lot up and put two townhouses on it. Thankfully, the neighborhood protested and that deal fell through. I made an offer and promised that the exterior would remain the same, but inside I had big plans. Knocked out the ceiling. Took out some walls. Now it’s like a loft with the upstairs exposed. Updated the kitchen. Blended new flooring in with the existing beechwood. Updated bathrooms. It took about 10 months to do, but I couldn’t be happier. (And the neighbors love it, too)

Tell us a little bit about yourself professionally. What are you working on these days? Like a lot of folks in Nashville, I play music. I make records and hit the road from time to time. Had some songs on the show NASHVILLE and have written a few tunes for other artists. I also own some commercial real estate in SC. It keeps me connected to my family there.

For the uninitiated, what is $2 Tuesday? How did you get started doing that? $2 Tuesday is show I put on every week at The 5 Spot here in East Nashville. It’s like a little variety show. I book the musical acts, emcee the night, and play a set as well. Usually 5 acts each week of varying styles. My friend Tim Hibbs spins records in between acts. Been doing it for 7 years now and have had everyone from Jason Isbell to Peter Buck of REM play it. It’s all just word of mouth. A great “neighborhood” night to hear new music and hang out with some cool people.

What do you like about the neighborhood? Where do you like to take out of town visitors? When I moved over here, it was really just 5 Points. A few bars, Margo, a hardware store, a gas station, and a coffee shop. Now it’s crazy! I love that it still has the same feeling as when I moved over here. Just a new paint job. Good people. Good music. Diversity.
I’ll usually take visitors to the Walden area. Jenni’s, Ugly Mugs, Rosepepper. I wish Alley Cat was still around. That was my go-to.

Anything else you’d like the neighborhood to know? I live right next to golf course. So, if you want some free golf balls, I’ve got buckets of ‘em!

Neighbor to Neighbor: Hans Schmidt

Neighbor to Neighbor: Hans Schmidt
February 2016

Name: HHPSans Schmidt, LSNA President
Family: Wife, Tomianne; Daughter, Olivia
Profession: Attorney
Years in neighborhood: Nearly 6

 

What’s the best part of living in Lockeland Springs?

We love that a playground, elementary school (one day, hopefully), bakery, ice cream shop, toy store, hot dog stand, coffee shops, restaurants ,and shopping are a short walk (or, in our 3-year old’s case, a little red wagon ride) from our house.    

Tell us what motivates you to lead the association.

Over the last few years, Lockeland Springs is one of Nashville’s historic neighborhoods confronting complex questions about how to balance the city’s need for increased density and development without losing the character and integrity of the neighborhood that drew so many of us here in the first place. I am motivated to serve as LSNA president for a second time because I want to play a role in shaping the direction of our neighborhood and in finding the right balance.  

Is there a neighborhood project that makes you proud?

The Lockeland Springs Park (at the end of Woodland Street) is an example of local government, community leaders, and dedicated residents working together to achieve great success. After Metro Parks acquired the property, there was little money available in its budget to do much to the springs that gave our neighborhood its name. Seeing the park’s potential, a group of neighbors, led by Bo Parr, Jim Polk, and others, spearheaded efforts to reclaim a small part of our neighborhood’s history from a thicket of privet and honeysuckle bushes.  

 

What do you look forward to for the neighborhood’s future?

A recognition that the changes happening throughout the neighborhood are not all bad; with them come new people that are equally excited to be a part of the best neighborhood in Nashville.

Neighbor to Neighbor: John Barrett

 

John & Guitar copyNeighbor to Neighbor
Name: John Barrett
Years in neighborhood: 8 years
Profession: “Jack of all trades” songwriter, woodworker, beekeeper, potter, furniture repairman

Tell us about your “East Nashville Now!” podcast.

After about 70 weeks of podcasting about Bitcoin, it only seemed natural to me to start a podcast that would be relevant to what I’m doing every day: Hanging out in East Nashville. I love East Nashville and see the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it is and what it’s becoming.

What’s the good you see?

It just feels like a small town. It doesn’t matter where you go, if you get around, you’re going to run into someone that you know. … You get to see people grow and evolve, just like you would see in a small town and not in a big city where you see people come and go, out of it. In East Nashville you see people evolve within it.

How do you pick topics and interview subjects?

I’m not going for a podcast about music in Music City I’m not going for a podcast about retail offerings and the best places to go shopping. And I’m not a restaurant review podcast either. But I am very interested in the off-the-beaten people and places.

I don’t really believe in strangers. For me, I derive a great deal of pleasure in just speaking with people. … It’s not really possible for me to talk to an employee more than twice and not want to know more about them. …

I am just incurably curious. If I see something that I’ve never seen before, or a person that is doing something that I’m not familiar with, I want to know what they’re doing. Maybe I’m just nosy.

Diversity seems to interest you.

I think really for me, I’m not pointedly trying to cast a light on the diversity, but the diversity is what interests me. I certainly don’t want to limit myself in terms of what type of people or what color of people, or what ilk, or genre of people, or socio-economic class of people that I interview.

Tell us about your co-host, Maxwell

Maxwell [Barrett’s Siberian Husky] was just the natural one to be the podcast host. For 43 episodes he’s been my host. He usually is right there in the chair as I’m putting the show together … and right there in the room entertaining my guests as I interview.

What’s next for the podcast?

I want to show people things that they haven’t seen before. Introduce them to people and places that they didn’t imagine existed here.

I do want to get into some of the nitty gritty of what’s going on here.

We have hardworking people, who have next to nothing, living very close to very hardworking people who have a great deal. …

So if you live just a block away from, you know, children who are hungry and malnourished, I think you’ll do better in your life to know that than to not know that. And you may have some way of helping that if you know that.

How to listen:

soundcloud.com/east-nashville-now

Send interview ideas to: John Barrett at jcbarrett2003@yahoo.com

Neighbor to Neighbor: Tim Walker

WalkerTim
Neighbor to Neighbor
Name: Tim Walker
Years in neighborhood: 16 1/2
Profession: Metro Historical Commission Executive Director

Briefly describe your role with the Historical Commission.
I oversee the work of both the Metro Historical Commission (MHC) and the Metro Historic Zoning Commission (MHZC). The MHC is a municipal historic preservation agency working to document history, save and reuse buildings, and make the public more aware of the necessity and advantages of preservation across Davidson County. Created in 1966, the commission consists of 15 citizens members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by Metro Council.
The Metropolitan Historic Zoning Commission (MHZC) is an architectural review board which reviews applications for work on properties that are within a Historic Overlay. Its nine volunteer members, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by council, include representatives from zoning districts, the Metro Planning Commission, the Metro Historical Commission; architects, and other citizen.

Just how busy has your team been, lately, on historic issues? Do any stand out?
The staff is busier than any time in our history. The number of staff in the office has not increased since 2005, but our workload has continued to increase. This is especially the case with the historic overlay program, where the number of properties in local districts has more than doubled in the last 10 years. With so much staff time now dedicated to the historic zoning program, there is less time available for history-related projects, including writing National Register nominations and surveying historic resources.

Why did you choose to live in Lockeland Springs, and how did its history factor into locating here?
Prior to moving to the neighborhood, I rented an apartment in Hillsboro Village. I only began spending time here following the tornado in 1998, when the office allocated additional resources to help property owners struggling to make home repairs. That’s how I met the owners of the house I now own. The architectural character, urban charm, and the neighborhood’s sense of community were a definite draw. The former homeowner’s insurance company considered the house to be a total loss due to damage suffered from the storm, and they had planned to demolish the structure and put the cleared land on the market. When I walked through the house, I felt it had lots of potential. After pondering for a week, I offered to purchase the house as-is. Six months later and once the insurance claim was settled, they sold me the property and I began a slow rehab of the house, eventually moving in, 12 months later, having made one of the best decisions of my life.

Which specific homes or architectural elements do you recommend seeing?
There are so many; it’s difficult to choose only a few, but I’ll limit my choices to three: the Tennessee State Capitol and Downtown Presbyterian Church, both National Historic Landmarks, and United Record Pressing. The State Capitol (600 Charlotte Ave.) and its grounds are an architectural gem. Built 1845-1859, the Capitol was designed by Philadelphia architect William Strickland in the Greek Revival style. Unfortunately, the building is only open during the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but the grounds are always open and contain the gravesite of President James K. Polk and the famed equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson.
The Downtown Presbyterian Church (154 5th Ave. N.) was constructed between 1849-51 and was also designed by Strickland, but in the Egyptian Revival style. Its interior sanctuary space is unique and has been painstakingly restored over the last decade.
Finally, United Record Pressing (453 Chestnut St.) is an important site in Nashville’s music legacy. The company opened as Southern Plastics in 1949 and has been in its current location since 1962. The largest vinyl record pressing plant in North America, clients included Vee Jay and Motown records, and due to segregation in the 1960s the company built an apartment suite to house African American execs and artists, now called the “Motown Suite.” Its party room has hosted record label signing parties for The Supremes, Wayne Newton, the Cowsills and a teenage Hank Williams Jr. Tours are Fridays at 11 a.m. or by appointment.