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Music Row Named National Treasure

NationalTrustforHistoricPreservationBuoyed by Ben Folds’ efforts and a connection made last summer, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated Nashville’s Music Row a National Treasure.

The designation means that the trust will research and document the area’s historical significance and will develop plans to ensure its sustainability.

It was following a concert in Washington, D.C. last summer that Folds met with National Trust’s general counsel Tom Mayes, who offered the organization’s support in the face of commercial pressures on the area where it’s generally agreed the country music genre was born and raised. The area has spawned numerous other developments, and property along the loosely-defined Music Row is coveted by both preservationists and commercial developers, who are eager to redevelop the area.

Working together on the effort are the newly-formed Music Industry Coalition, a consortium of music executives; the Metro Historical Commission; the Tennessee Preservation Trust; Historic Nashville Ltd.; the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation; and the office of Nashville mayor Karl Dean. Dean cited the teamwork by Nashvillians Mike Curb, Aubrey Preston and Charles Elcan as an example of a public-private partnership to further historic preservation. It’s “a reminder of what makes Nashville unique,” the mayor remarked.

The critical next step, according to Folds’ manager and Music Industry Coalition president Mike Kopp, is to use National Trust grant dollars to begin chronicling the history of the area.

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