Fort Nashborough to receive makeover - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Fort Nashborough to receive makeover

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Fort Nashborough Fort Nashborough
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A historic site in the heart of downtown Nashville is about to get a serious makeover.

The city plans to demolish Fort Nashborough, the replica of the shelter built by some of Nashville's first settlers.

While some people are opposed to the idea, city planners think what's next will be great for Nashville.

To get a real understanding about the beginning, you have to go back to where it all started.

"James Robertson and John Donelson are the two founding fathers of Nashville, which our original name was Nashborough," said tour guide Bobby Green.

Green always makes Fort Nashborough one of the stops on his Good Ole Nashville tour.

But soon the structure on First Avenue along the Cumberland River will be no more.

"I think this is a treasure. I think they ought to keep it, myself," said Green.

The structure was built in the 1960s, a replica of the fort built by Nashville's pioneers around 1780.

However the foundation of the fort was damaged during the May 2010 flood.

The fort was locked up last year because of safety concerns. Demolition is planned for the end of the summer.

When Fort Nashborough is rebuilt, it will look completely different.

"It will not be a closed-in fort anymore," said Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch.

Instead the new fort will have one wall and face open to First Avenue. Eventually Metro plans to add touch screens for interactive educational tours.

"I think what it represents about our history and Nashville will be maintained and will give more people access to it," said Lynch.

There is a potential problem.

Metro Parks has $1 million in capital funds secured for the project, but it will cost $2.6 million.

The parks department will start Phase 1 of the project, not knowing when or if they will have the money for Phase 2.

"We can't go in, but I always stop and explain to them and show them," said Green.

Until construction is complete, tour guides like Green will have to settle on good storytelling to recreate the Fort Nashborough of yesteryear.

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