Nashville Mayor Briley announces plan to restore Fort Negley as park

(Photo: WKRN)

There are two videos inside this story. Click here to watch them both from the News 2 app.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New Nashville Mayor David Briley announced plans Tuesday morning that he plans to seek funds to demolish the old Greer Stadium and start the process of restoring the land to a park as originally intended.

“Fort Negley Park is a historic treasure for the Nashville community that has the potential to be even better once we incorporate the Greer Stadium property back into the park,” said Mayor Briley. “We have a unique opportunity to bring the community together to design a park that will honor the sacrifice of the slaves who died building this fort while providing active park space in a growing neighborhood that will be enjoyed by residents for generations to come.”

The estimated $1 million needed to demolish the former Nashville Sounds’ stadium and begin turning the land into a park would come from the city’s four percent reserve fund through a request to the Metro Council in April.

After the demolition, the property will be seeded with grass while the Metro Historical Commission produces a Cultural Landscape Report that will help inform decisions by the Metro Parks Board about how best to turn this space into an active park that honors the history of the site.

Mayor Briley has asked the Parks Department to update the Fort Negley Master Plan once again to reflect the recreational needs of our city in a way that honors the rich history of this site, which was the largest inland stone fortification built during the Civil War, constructed after Nashville surrendered to the Union Army.

In 2017, ex-Nashville mayor Megan Barry’s administration sought public-private partnership proposals to redevelop the stadium into a mixed-use property that was ultimately awarded to the Cloud Hill Partnership.

Following months of procedural delays, the Barry administration ended plans for private development after an archaeological review found considerable undisturbed soils, which the historic record indicates could contain the remains of slaves and freed African-Americans who were impressed into building Fort Negley.