Metro commission delays vote on fate of damaged Second Avenue buildings

AM Aaron- Bombed Buildings Meeting.transfer_frame_0.jpeg
Posted at 6:57 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 18:37:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Historic Zoning Commission has made the decision to delay a vote that will determine the fate of some downtown properties damaged in last year's Christmas Day bombing.

The commission said the vote will be deferred until at least August to allow property owners and commission members more time to conduct testing of materials and finalize engineering reports.

A vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday but the committee wants more structural engineers to take a look before deciding whether to tear down or save four damaged buildings along Second Avenue. The buildings date back to the late 1800s and are a part of the Second Avenue Historic Preservation Zoning Overlay. The Metro Historic Zoning Commission needs help from preservation advocates to let them know if saving the properties is feasible, and if it's important to the communities.

Back on July 1, the property owners of buildings 170, 172, 174 and 176 submitted a request for demolition of their properties to the three Metro departments. Even though the owners have requested demolition, the request must be approved by the commission.

The four buildings were directly across from the parked RV that exploded and now only side walls remain. The facades were already removed after it was determined they were unstable.

An engineer with Historic Nashville Inc. strongly believes that demolition is unnecessary and that salvaging and repairing the buildings is not only possible but would be less expensive than tearing them down.

Mac McDonald, a former member of the commission who also used to live and own buildings along Second Avenue, said the decision to postpone the vote was the right move.

"If we don't have the right facts and circumstances, it puts a lot of pressure on the members of the historic zoning commission," McDonald said. "I certainly understand the need to make sure we've got some really good information."

Historic Zoning is currently requesting additional architectural and structural reviews to help in the decision process.