Studio A: from the Brink of Demolition to the National Register

August 4, 2015

Great news! On July 21, the National Park Service announced that the RCA Victor Studios Building, more commonly known as Studio A, was named to the National Register of Historic Places. This designation, which carries no restrictions on how the building may be altered, re-developed or even demolished, makes it eligible for valuable federal tax credits for rehabilitation.

But just as important, this listing serves as validation of the work the National Trust and its local preservation and music industry allies are doing to document the history of the many buildings along Music Row that give Nashville its title of "Music City." Middle Tennessee State University's director of the Center for Historic Preservation, Carroll Van West, spearheaded the nomination process, and was quoted in The Tennessean as saying, "The National Park Service's final approval and listing of RCA Victor Studios to the National Register of Historic Places is a very important step forward not only for the future of that iconic building, where so much music and music industry history were made, but now it is an anchor for the preservation of other Music Row landmarks and keeping Nashville's creative heart together for decades to come."

As reported in a Nashville Business Journal piece, for the last six months we and local partners have been "gathering data and research, from a field survey of Music Row's buildings to a collection of oral histories, to help piece together a timeline of Music Row milestones...The groups are also providing research to the Metro Planning Department, which is working on a neighborhood design plan. Although Studio A garnered the most attention thanks to interest from high-profile musicians like Ben Folds and Dave Grohl, the push to preserve more buildings and the neighborhood's character spread up and down Music Row."

So while we applaud the designation of Studio A, our work ensure the full history of Music Row is told is still very much in progress! Stay tuned for updates on our research and exciting interviews as part of our oral history project, "Telling Music Row's Stories."

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