Commission examines ‘lessons learned’ from Christmas Day
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) – A second revitalization could arrive at Second Avenue nearly a year after a bomb on Christmas Day destroyed parts of the hallway.
A meeting of the Special Commission for the Review of the Bombings reviewed the progress made in the region on Tuesday. In mid-October, a new design plan for buildings damaged in the Christmas Day bombing passed a hurdle. The project will consist of reconstruction and new construction.
Historic zoning commissioners hope that in five years the area will look a lot like it was before the damage.
âOf course, the four buildings that were right in front of the bombed vehicle are the images we’re used to seeing the most,â said Robin Zeigler, Metro’s historic zoning commissioner. “But it’s important to remember that many buildings have held up quite well. I don’t want to take the stress off the homeowners all the time, but compared to the loss of the majority of buildings, about 60% of the permits were minor.”
Items found on the sidewalk that were salvageable are now stored.
Since last Christmas, a total of 30 disaster-related preservation permits have been submitted to the Historical Department. Almost 60% concerned the windows, doors and roof. The remaining 40% involved minor to major repairs to bricks and structures. The commission does not follow up on the interior work required for the buildings.
âIn terms of lessons learned, we think it would be helpful for Metro to have a plan in place to step in and provide immediate stabilization for historic buildings, especially in the downtown area where these buildings have walls shared with other buildings or are close to other buildings. We believe that if we could have intervened and done so immediately, more of those four damaged buildings may still be there. “
Zeigler said it would also help to have “an insurance guru” for a disaster like this. She said a lot of work has yet to be done due to communications with insurance companies.
âA lot of people don’t know how to work with their insurance companies, or what is owed or owed to them,â she said. “They are not good defenders of themselves and they are not getting all the money they can. In some cases we have lost historic buildings.”
The historical department has two commissions: Metro Historic Zoning and Metro Historical Commission. Because this is a historical overlay, the two groups help provide information about what is happening on Second Avenue. The two have created a task force to advise the city as it moves forward.
The bombed out buildings date from the 1800s and contained elements of the Victorian era. The area was once a commercial district for the river. By the 1970s they were empty, and partners across Nashville revitalized the neighborhood for shops and restaurants.
âSometimes it takes a tragedy like this for people to really understand the importance of preservation and what it means for the city in the future,â Zeigler said.