Historic 'House of Mayors' scheduled for demolition in Murfreesboro

House of Mayors
Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 23:51:36-05

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's been around for more than 170 years, watching its city change in monumental ways. Now, the historic "House of Mayors" in Murfreesboro is scheduled to come down. It might be happening as early as Wednesday.

Some hate to lose this history. Others say it's simply part of the passing of time.

"I'm 82 years old," said James Rowlett, sitting at a table at City Cafe in downtown Murfreesboro. "I've been around a long time. I value tradition."

Rowlett has more than a few traditions in his life. For one, people around the city know him as T-Bone. It's a nickname that's stuck since the '50s.

"Oh, it's been like Elmer's Glue, y'know!" he laughed.

He also likes a tradition like City Cafe, which was providing a refuge of hot french fries from a rainy, cold outside.

A man who appreciates his city's best traditions of course knows a house just down the street, a house that's been part of Murfreesboro since 1850.

"Yes, sir. I've seen it for a long, long time," Rowlett said.

At the corner of Spring Street and Bell Street is the Collier-Lane-Crichlow House. Locals know it as the House of Mayors. That's because four different local mayors have all lived there.

Even after more than 170 years of history and a designation on the National Register of Historic Places, the House of Mayors is about to come down. A representative for the Rutherford County Historical Society told NewsChannel 5 the house is in major disrepair with the costs going beyond its worth.

A representative for Hensley Group LLC, which owns the property, told us demolition will likely happen Wednesday. The rep said they're saving the house's brick, chandeliers, and as many other items as possible. Hensley Group LLC said they're unsure of the exact plans of what will go on the property, but it will become multiple new homes.

At City Cafe, patrons gave a variety of reactions to the House of Mayors coming down. Some said it's a shame to lose this irreplaceable history.

Rowlett, with his appreciation for tradition, had a very different take.

"A lot of people are like, 'don't do that, don't do that.' I'm not that way," he said. "You have to grow with the flow of time. You can't take history away; I don't care what you tear down. It's like every other house. Sooner or later, these things are going to come to a halt. Life changes. It doesn't sit still."

Get NewsChannel 5 Now, wherever, whenever, always free.

Watch the live stream below, and download our apps on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and more. Click here to learn more.