Press Release | Washington, DC | May 16, 2016

New Report Recommends Naming Music Row Tennessee’s First Cultural Industry District

Designation would Preserve Historic Character and Sustain Music Industry

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Music Industry Coalition released a report today that calls for Metro Nashville government to make Music Row the state’s first Cultural Industry District. Entitled “A New Vision for Music Row,” the report is aimed at elevating awareness and encouraging preservation of this internationally-renown hub for making music. It stems from the National Trust’s campaign to celebrate Music Row’s history and sustain its future in light of increasing development and demolition pressure.

Designating Music Row a Cultural Industry District would mean creating a nonprofit entity with the mission of strengthening, developing and promoting music related businesses in Music Row through the use of incentives, branding, promotion, historic preservation, infrastructure investment and other tools.

“We believe designation of the Music Row Cultural Industry District is essential to build new programs and policies that honor Music Row’s historical legacy, recognize the music industry’s impact on Nashville’s economy and help to plan for its future,” said David Brown, chief preservation officer and executive vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Just as the music that has emerged from Music Row over the past 60 years has been trend-setting, we believe Music Row can is the right place to set yet another standard of excellence through designation of the Music Row Cultural Industry District.”

The report also recommends that existing property owners, business owners and other stakeholders should have more collective power and resources for shaping prospective development on Music Row and sustaining the music industry there.

“The intent behind putting forth these recommendations is to help give neighborhood property owners and other stakeholders who care about the future of Music Row some additional tools that could protect the value of their investments, while ensuring that Nashville’s unique creative culture continues to thrive and grow,” said Mike Kopp, president of the Music Industry Coalition.

The National Trust’s report complements Metro Planning’s “Music Row Design Plan,” released in February, which focused on design-based planning and land-use factors, such as setbacks, streetscape design, parking and transportation. Metro Planning Department executive director Doug Sloan called the “New Vision for Music Row” report “a vital step in planning an appropriate future for Nashville’s most iconic neighborhood,” adding that “it’s essential that everyone involved understand the importance of Music Row’s history and traditions, and make those part of the equation as we move forward.”

Freddie O’Connell, District 19 Metro councilman, noted his support for a coordinated, long-range planning approach by saying, “Last year's decision by the (Metro) Planning Commission to pause rezoning in Music Row gave us a citywide moment to consider our own identity. We have taken full advantage of that moment to capture the stories that make us Music City while developing the policies that I hope help Nashville remain Music City for a long time to come through simultaneous preservation and enhancement of Music Row.”

Now, the National Trust and the Music Industry Coalition will begin working with elected officials and a network of partners to secure the Music Row Cultural Industry District designation and to establish a framework for developing a strategic plan to implement the recommendations within the “New Vision for Music Row” recommendations report and the “Music Row Design Plan.”

The report and an executive summary may be read at!New-Recommendations-for-Preserving-Music-Row/c1tm7/5739ca590cf2cf6e0442ce00.

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About the Music Row National Treasure

Nashville’s Music Row has had a profound influence on the growth and evolution of American music, shaping many genres of music and launching the careers of some of the biggest names in the business over the last 60 years. In January, 2015 the National Trust announced that it had designated Music Row as a National Treasure—a reflection of its importance to Nashville’s identity as Music City and to America’s music heritage as well as concern for its future in light of recent development pressure and demolition activity. Since then the National Trust and the Music Industry Coalition have worked closely with Metro Planning Department, Music Row Neighborhood Association, Metro Historical Commission, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, Historic Nashville, Inc. and others to research the district’s past and work to ensure Music Row’s sustainability as a center of music and creativity. Follow @SavingPlaces and #MusicRow on Twitter.

About the Music Industry Coalition

The Music Industry Coalition is a collective voice representing the past and future of Nashville’s music industry and its birthplace, Music Row. MIC is an all-volunteer advocate for the creative culture of Music City.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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