Proposal to Demolish Greer Stadium Comes Into Focus
After much controversy, the decision of what to do with Greer Stadium is coming into focus. Last week, Nashville Mayor David Briley proposed to demolish the former home of the Nashville Sounds and to reincorporate the former field into Fort Negley Park. The plan, which still needs the approval of the city council, would bookmark $1 million to tear down and clear out the old ballpark to begin the process of restoring the land. Mayor Briley told The Tennessean, “This is a moment where community participation, where voices being here led us to the right result.”
For historians and preservationists alike, Mayor Briley’s proposition is a big win. Fort Negley was the largest inland fort built during the Civil War. Built by the Union after capturing Nashville, Fort Negley was largely built by slaves, former slaves, and conscripted blacks.
There was much debate as to what to do with the old stadium once the Sounds headed to their new home, First Tennessee Park, in 2015. One of the ideas, supported by former mayor, Megan Berry, was to convert the land into a mixed-use area named Cloud Hill. Historians and preservationists both argued against Cloud Hill citing concern over how the land would be developed and used.
The Cloud Hill idea was abandoned earlier this year when the development company pulled its proposal. An archaeological review of the land determined there was a “high likelihood of human remains” at Greer’s site. The remains are believed to have belonged to the men that built the fort in 1862 as slaves.
Mayor Briley hopes to get approval for the funding in April. There is no set timetable for the work to begin, but if approved, the new plan will include a way to honor the slaves that built the fort.
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