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Some Nashville treasures spared from deadly tornado

Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 21:16:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It is almost beyond comprehension what a storm destroys, and what is spared. Perhaps, the best example is the "I Believe in Nashville" mural at the Basement East. It's still standing with distinction, in the midst of destruction in almost every direction.

The famous mural started popping up around town the last time dark clouds blocked the light in our city -- the 2010 floods. It now takes on a different meaning.

"The I Believe part was the part that was most striking to me because it wasn’t a collective we, it wasn’t a blanket statement of what it was, it’s whatever Nashville means to each individual which I think makes us so special and so diverse," said Rich Egan, the owner of the mural.

The artist behind the mural, Adrien Saporiti, wrote on his Instagram account that he created the design to show the resolve of our city and our ability to come together. "Difficult times reveal our values and call upon us to demonstrate them. Nashville will come together, we will reach out to our neighbors, lend a hand and offer a place to stay, and then rebuild," Saporiti wrote.

But that's not the only landmark that knows what its like to be stuck between pummeled and pardoned. "I was baptized in this church, I was married in this church, my grandmother was funeralized in this church," said Rev. Lisa Hammonds of St. John AME Church.

When the century old congregation was forced to move from downtown several decades ago, they brought with them bricks from the original structure to North Nashville. They appeared to be unscathed, yet just feet behind the brick pillars, a pile of splintered wood and broken glass. "The fact that those bricks are still standing in the midst of so much destruction I think speaks volumes," said Rev. Hammonds.

How firm a foundation to build a recovery, in both neighborhoods.

The group that owns the mural is already hoping to cash in, but in a good way. "Within minutes, my phone was locked up from orders. Like I could not open my phone because I was getting notifications," said Tim Gerst, who is a partner at the NashvilleTN Store. Proceeds from t-shirts that feature those four prolific words will go back to the recovery efforts, benefiting the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Music City INC.

"Our ultimate goal is to try to donate a million dollars to relief efforts," said Gerst.

That's something we can all believe in.