The LSNA is happy to announce the winners of our inaugural Holiday Lights contest. Nominations were accepted via email and the LSNA board voted this week to award prizes to the top 3 homes in Lockeland Springs. Winners will receive gift cards to area businesses. Thanks to everyone who got into the spirit and channeled their inner Clark Griswald. We hope this annual event will spark a little friendly competition among neighbors.
And the winners of the 2015 Holiday Lights contest are…
FIRST PLACE: 1623 Woodland St. (below)
Second Place: 317 N 14th St. (below)
Third Place: 407 N. 16th St. (below)
Nearly 50 neighbors turned out to discuss the proposed plans to redevelop the church at Fatherland Ave. and N.17th St into a restaurant and boutique hotel.
Councilman Brett Withers hosted the meeting at the Shelby Community Center on Wednesday night and explained various zoning options to the crowd. Developer John Donelson, who now owns the church, fielded a wide range of questions from the crowd but many expressed concerns about increased noise, traffic, and parking in the neighborhood.
Here is what happened at the meeting:
Brett pointed out that this conversation is one that we will likely have many more times since we have many churches in historic buildings that are gradually losing numbers and thus financial support. We have to ask ourselves, “do we think the building is worth preserving?” and “what concessions are we willing to make to the developer in order to get the things we want?”.
Gina Emmanuel, architect for the project, explained the plan as it currently exists. The restaurant will be approximately 5000 square feet, there will be a roof deck with two offices that cannot be seen from the street per MHZ, and 10 boutique hotel rooms in the 1951 addition. The event space was removed after two public meetings when the neighbors expressed concerns about this portion of the plan. In order to park this use, John Donelson has an agreement with the owner of the lot behind the church facing 17th. With the Neighborhood Landmark zoning tool, he can build a parking lot there with 16 spaces. It will be highly screened so that cars and car lights are not visible from the street. The lot will be environmentally friendly with some sort of pervious pavers.
Gina explained that current codes require a certain number of spaces for each use. The restaurant must have 32 spaces and the hotel must have 11 for a total of 43. Because the property is in an area with contiguous sidewalks and public transit, a 20% reduction is allowed by code. This reduces the number of spaces the developer is required to have to 35. If we subtract the 16 spaces they will build on the lot behind the church, that means they must have 19 additional spaces. John Donelson has reached an agreement with the church at 17th and Shelby for 25 spaces, exceeding the required number by 6 spaces. He is also in discussion with Liberty Baptist for an additional 20 spaces.
-Elizabeth Smith, email@example.com
This spring, the neighborhood board voted to give $650 grants to three organizations. We will profile each of the grant recipients in coming issues of The Fountain. The second organization featured is the East Nashville Hope Exchange. This article was submitted by the non-profit.
East Nashville Hope Exchange’s mission is to strengthen literacy of at-risk children in East Nashville. The exchange works with children from schools in the Stratford and Maplewood clusters.
The exhange is grateful for the generosity of the LSNA grant to continue this work. Historically, we’ve served 42 first through third grade students and their families in a six-week Summer Program, staffed by certified teachers and community volunteers, that is designed to combat the “summer learning loss” that disproportionately affects low-income students. But in the summer of 2015, the exchange was excited to expand the program to include kindergarten and fourth grade students. Made possible by a partnership with Ross Early Learning Center, this expansion allowed the program to double in size to almost 80 students.
Research shows that low-income students fall far behind their peers in language skills as early as 3 years of age, entering kindergarten already behind and increasingly struggling to read at grade level. Expanding our program allows us to intervene in literacy development early in our students’ educations and provide support over a greater period of time.
Each aspect of programming ties into the theme “My Family/My Community/My World.”
Community members with diverse and inspiring backgrounds volunteer as daily guest readers, while other volunteers work one-on-one with students as reading buddies. Local artists and special guests visit to perform for students or share and engage on a variety of topics, such as government and sustainability.
Finally, weekly family engagement events provide information on topics such as “How Literacy and Healthy Eating Are Connected,” and “Behavior Management Strategies.” Caregivers commit to reading 15 minutes with their student each day to reinforce good reading habits and instill an appreciation for reading at home. We were so grateful that students received a free book each day of the summer program, made possible by Flowerpot Press and First Book, to add to their home libraries — some 2,400 books were given to our students!
Hope Exchange board member Gracie Porter (former teacher, librarian, principal, Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education vice-chair and chair, and MTSU adjunct professor in Elementary and Special Education) described why she serves on the board: “I care about East Nashville Hope Exhange because it focuses on the whole family. It is supportive and inclusive no matter how great the need.”
Highlights from the 2015 Summer Program include such notable guest readers as Mayor Karl Dean, First Lady Crissy Haslam, the Metro Nashville Police Department Mounted Patrol, and staff members from the Nashville Predators Hockey Team.
Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary and Plant the Seed TN led programs dedicated to Sustainability and the world around us, and students have enjoyed field trips to venues such as the Vanderbilt University Stadium, the Tennessee State Museum, and the Cumberland Water Park.
Local artist Brandon Donahue worked with students to create the Silhouette Cypher art project, during which students creatively filled in life-sized outlines of themselves with images, colors, and symbols that represent how they see their place in the world. The Silhouette Cypher project is currently on display at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church.
Visits from the Nashville Ballet, Nashville Public Library Puppet Truck, and the Street Theatre Co. help to round out programmatic focus on the connection between literacy and art.
ENHE also hosts a School Year Program to provide our students and families with support year-round. This continues the work done in the intense six-week summer program. Monthly school-year workshops offer information for caregivers on literacy tools and behavioral management strategies, while children receive literacy instructions and complete an activity. The monthly workshops are supplemented by at-home visits and conversations with our students’ teachers and caregivers on a regular basis.
Here are highlights from our March, April and May family workshops:
Positive Identity and Math Word Problems and Reading
Students in our program are just beginning to form their personal identities and find their place in their home, school, and community. This workshop focused on creating positive identities for our children by giving them increasing responsibility while providing support and encouragement as they grow more independent. Families talked about self-esteem and sense of purpose, while children were asked to think of positive outlooks for their future.
Stress Management, Test Taking, and Test Taking Strategies
Stress is an inevitable part of daily life, and the life of a student is especially stressful before and during testing. Families can manage stress surrounding test-taking specifically by talking with teachers before tests about how to prepare with your child, celebrating testing successes as a family, and setting realistic expectations for test results. Family members completed a timed sample test to understand the challenges and stress their children experience during these tests.
Boundaries and Expectations and Kidwriting,
Invented Spelling, and Phonetics
Children perform much better at home, at school, and as community members when they know where their boundaries lie. Knowing exact boundaries and expectations encourages good behavior, and lets children know when they are doing well. Families talked about kidwriting (phonetic spelling), invented spelling, and spelling patterns and the role these play in a child’s learning to read.
Move slider above from left to right to see both photos
Historic school On Ordway
The neighborhood’s historic Ross School at 1310 Ordway Place will be occupied again soon after more than a year of vacancy.
Nashville Classical Charter School — currently at the corner of 10th and Fatherland — has been approved for the site and has begun an interior renovation, according to school founder Charlie Friedman, who addressed the neighborhood association in February.
A 1925 photo of the school, which is more than 100 years old, shows that little has changed. And Friedman said the plan is to keep it that way.
“That beautiful, historic facade will look exactly the same,” he said.
Friedman answered several questions that he said he’s heard lately.
He anticipates a more efficient drop-off and pickup process compared to the Head Start program that had been at the building, and he said the city considers Nashville Classical’s current traffic pattern at Fatherland to be a model worth emulating.
And he’s considering a way to make the playground that fronts 14th Avenue South available to the neighborhood, perhaps with a lock and access code.
Friedman moved from Philadelphia three years ago and founded the school, which currently has 181 students in kindergarten and first grade, with plans to add a grade each year. The school on Ordway will house grades K-4 with a maximum of 325 students. The renovation, which includes bringing the building into codes compliance, will cost about $750,000.
New this year, the LSNA Beautification Award recognizes and rewards property owners within Lockeland Springs for a beautiful front façade and/or outstanding landscaping or maintenance of the front yard within public view.
The winners of the 2015 Beautification Awards will each be awarded a gift certificate to a local business. All of these properties have lovely front yards that are well-landscaped and maintained. These homes, both new and old, contribute to the special character of our Lockeland Springs neighborhood. The winners are:
Neighbor 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:
A great time was had by all at the LSNA booth during this year’s Tomato Festival. The LSNA was happy to meet many of our neighbors and many others that would like to be our neighbors. So many great things going on in the neighborhood. And for the first time we handed out free tomatoes to those who stopped by the booth. And a shout out to LSNA board member Tony Gonzalez for keeping the crowds entertained with his juggling. And a special thanks to board member Steven Swarts and Taylor Family Farms in Smyrna, TN for donating the tomatoes.
Grant recipient holds community meetings on affordable housing
This spring, the neighborhood board voted to give $650 grants to three organizations. We will profile each of the grant recipients in coming issues of The Fountain. The first organization featured is the Tennessee Alliance for Progress. This article was submitted by Nell Levine.
To state the obvious, East Nashville is undergoing rapid change.
To begin to address this, Tennessee Alliance for Progress, with a grant from LSNA, conducted two community meetings, in Lockeland Springs and District 5, on Affordable Housing, Diversity and the Future
Twenty people attended the Lockeland Springs meeting, held on May 30. Attendees were asked to identify the neighborhood’s challenges (parking, decreasing diversity, traffic, rising housing costs, and breakdown of a sense of community) and assets (culture, walkability, potential, great housing stock, amenities.) Attendees agreed that we want to keep East Nashville welcoming and truly diverse. We brainstormed on actions we can take to do this. The list included be active, study and learn from our history, stay involved with planning and zoning decisions, cultivate the political will to commit resources for affordable housing and become a community again. It was agreed that the latter will take work.
Fifty people attended the June 6 meeting in District 5 (see attached photo.) Dane Forlines of McFerrin Park presented a letter to the Planning Commission requesting that they help residents create a new District 5 neighborhood plan since the last plan is now 10 years old and outdated. The letter is currently being circulated at neighborhood association meetings and will be turned into Planning at the end of the month.
Both meetings aired important issues. The takeaway? The future of our neighborhoods will be determined by how active residents are in making their voices heard.
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.