Changes Coming To New African American Musuem

Posted at 11:39 AM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 12:48:02-04

For years Nashville has always embraced its musical heritage on Lower Broadway, but some have said Music City has not embraced all of its heritage, especially when it comes to the African American community.

"We were very disappointed. We made a significant investment and when the announcement was made last year all of the renderings showed the African American museum being on Broadway," said Erica Gilmore, Metro City Councilwoman.

It has been a long time coming for the National Museum of African-American music, and some have said it's been too long.

"This is the first significant landmark that we will have that is dedicated to African Americans that represents their heritage and the overall Music City theme of Nashville. It deserves the proper recognition," said Councilwoman Gilmore.

The museum was originally supposed to be at the corner of Jefferson Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard, but it got bumped by the Tennessee State Museum. Then it was supposed to be incorporated with the upgrade to the old convention center, but now the proposed entrance will be on 5th Avenue across from the Ryman Auditorium instead of Broadway.

"I'd liked to see the original agreement. I'd like to see it on Broadway. I'd like to see us given what was originally in the agreement," said Bishop Alvin Miller.

Metro City Council has been wanting to make sure the developers keep their end of the bargain.

"We gave them $75 million. The developer shared with us it was going for to be those renderings on Broadway and that's what we're sticking with. We gave them our money in good faith," said Councilwoman Gilmore.

Olliver McMillan | Spectrum Emery released a statement saying in part that the decision to move the entrance came when more space was requested for the museum.

With the increase of 15,000 square feet, the entrance on Broadway was no longer functional or preferable. The developer also said this was a joint decision by museum leaders, the developers, and a Metro government partner.

A resolution has been expected to be filed on Tuesday and brought before Metro City Council in December.