A preservation group is asking the Tennessee Historical Commission to protect Fort Negley Park from Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s redevelopment plans.
The Friends of Fort Negley filed a petition Monday asking the commission to include the property, which includes the abandoned Greer Stadium, in the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2016, reports the Nashville Business Journal. The petition names Metro government as the respondent.
Barry’s plans have drawn fierce opposition from a variety of groups who say they don’t honor the area’s history. She wants the Cloud Hill Partnership development team to build affordable housing, shops and restaurants, green space and creative spaces for artists on the land.
The stadium has sat abandoned since the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team moved to a new stadium north of downtown in 2015.
The fort was built during Union occupation of Nashville during the Civil War. It was constructed with the forced labor of slaves and free blacks, a quarter of whom died from sickness in the winter of 1862. The United States Colored Troops, 13th Infantry Regiment, were among those stationed at the fort during the war and the Battle of Nashville, and reeanactors have relived their stories.
“The city attempts to justify the development under the premise that Greer Stadium is a ‘separate parcel,'” the petition says. “In fact, the Fort Negley Greer Stadium property was never conveyed as a separate parcel. Rather, such designation is only an internal, administrative description.”
Barry spokesman Sean Braisted told Nashville Business News that “Metro and the Cloud Hill Partnership are absolutely committed to preserving historic Fort Negley Park while improving the adjacent Greer Stadium parcel” and that they will review the petition “to determine what, if any, response is needed or appropriate.”
Last week, the nonprofit group Historic Nashville named Fort Negley this year’s most-endangered city property.