Tag Archives: Neighborhood

Neighborhood Spotlight: Wedgewood-Houston

Once an industrial area filled with warehouses, factories and garages in a rundown part of town rarely visited, Wedgewood-Houston has experienced a redevelopment renaissance over the last few years as artists and creatives have flocked to the area. Two miles south of downtown, Wedgewood-Houston (AKA WeHo) boasts lower rent and housing prices relative to the nearby neighborhoods of the Gulch, 12South and Belmont.

The area’s history dates back to the American Civil War. It’s home to Fort Negley, the largest fortification built by the Union after the fall of Nashville in 1862. The abandoned Greer Stadium, the former home of the Nashville Sounds with its guitar-shaped scoreboard, sits just south of the site.

The most historic building still standing in the neighborhood is the Merritt Mansion on Humphreys Street, purchased a few years ago and converted into a recording studio by Nashville-based rock band Kings of Leon. The home was built in 1840 for Sally Merritt, the youngest daughter of Captain John Rains, and her husband, Gibson. Rains reached Nashville with James Robertson on Christmas Day, 1779, and purchased a 640-acre farm in the neighborhood.

Many of the neighborhood’s most notable restaurants and businesses embrace the area’s industrial history: Award-winning restaurant and bar Bastion is in a former jam factory; Dozen Bakery resides in a former truck repair shop; and David Lusk Gallery is in the building of a former truck mechanic. Other can’t-miss WeHo restaurants include Santa’s Pub, with its year-round Christmas decorations and top-notch karaoke, as well as Gabby’s, Clawson’s Pub & Deli and Smokin’ Thighs.

WeHo is also all about the arts. Popular among residents and visitors is the robust variety of art galleries and creative spaces located within a few blocks of each other. Some credit the David Lusk Gallery on Hagan Street, which opened in 2014, as the spark for the recent influx of redevelopment. In addition to David Lusk are Zeitgeist, Hunter + Gatherer, Sherrick & Paul and Julia Martin Gallery, all of which participate in the free monthly art walk. Named Arts & Music at Wedgewood-Houston, the event is held the first Saturday of each month, coinciding with the Downtown First Saturday Art Crawl. There are also multiple spaces for independent artists and creatives to set up shop, including in Fort Houston and the May Hosiery Co-Op complex, which is currently undergoing a major overhaul. The redeveloped complex, which contains multiple masonry buildings, will eventually include 80,000 square feet of office space, three restaurants, seven retail storefronts, rooftop space and a possible hotel.

Unique to the area is the prevalence of live-work housing, with a retail component on the first floor and a loft or living area on the second floor. New homes are also popping up as developers take advantage of the lower cost of land, and home prices are rapidly on the rise as the neighborhood continues to gain popularity.

We look forward to seeing what is next in store for the up-and-coming Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Germantown

To visitors, Nashville is the destination to hear up-and-coming country music artists and try some of our city’s world-famous hot chicken. However, to residents, both native and new, Nashville is more than just lower Broadway. It’s made up of many small neighborhoods, each adding their own style and culture to the overall charm of Music City.

In this post, we’re shining the spotlight on one of our town’s hottest neighborhoods: Germantown.

Vista Germantown

Vista Germantown

This quaint neighborhood, which earned its name from the many German immigrants who flocked to Nashville in the early 1800s, is an 18-square block area just north of downtown. For such a compact area, it is surprisingly diverse, with single-family homes, restaurants, shops, businesses and mixed-use properties. The area has come a long way from its humble beginning and looks very different from how it did just a few years ago.

The land where Germantown sits was gifted to James McGavock for his service in the Revolutionary War. It was used mostly for farming until the early 1800s when McGavock started selling pieces of his land to incoming German families, whose cultural backgrounds and skills shaped many of the architectural influences we still see today. In 1865, Germantown was incorporated into the Nashville city limits as part of the Ninth Ward. This marked the beginning of Germantown’s largest growth period, during which prominent businesses, such as Neuhoff Slaughterhouse and Werthan Bag Co., set up shop in the area.

The Germantown area began to decline in the 1950s. World War II had caused many families to leave the area for other parts of the city, and the suburbs gained popularity for residential living. This left many residential buildings empty, which were demolished due to lack of upkeep or to make way for other structures, most of which were industrial.

In 1979, Germantown was listed on The National Register for Historic Places, breathing new life back into the neighborhood. Many lots were rezoned from industrial back to residential use. And in 2002, the Metropolitan Planning Department created a detailed neighborhood design plan as a tool to provide a greater level of guidance for future planning and growth. Today, Germantown is an eclectic mix of old and new buildings, with new construction carrying on many of the historic architectural features of generations before. Bristol Development recognized Germantown’s appeal to residents, and in 2012, the company developed Vista Germantown. Designed by Southeast Venture, this 260-unit multi-family/mixed-use development combines modern elements with the area’s German-inspired facade. This complex sits on a prominent full city block in the heart of the neighborhood and is part of the revitalization of the area along the Jefferson Avenue corridor.

As Germantown continues to be recognized for its modern growth and historical roots, more people are sure to call the area home, ensuring its continued growth and development.