On August 7th, 2007, Metro Council passed a bill setting in place the funding
mechanisms for a new $600 million-plus downtown convention center.
A site for the facility has been chosen: three square blocks in SoBro, bounded by
5th Ave. to the east, 8th Ave. to the west, Demonbreun to the north, and the
future Korean War Memorial Blvd to the south. As many Nashvillians know, this
site is prime real estate; it is adjacent to the Country Music Hall of Fame, and
very near to Broadway, the Schermerhorn, and a growing number of exciting
We, an assembly of concerned citizens, are launching a grassroots effort to
make the case that this site is of crucial importance to the emerging fortunes of
downtown Nashville. While a new convention center may be needed in our
town, and while SoBro may be the ideal place in which to build it, we firmly
believe that the average convention center—a monolithic, single-use box of
insular character and aesthetic monotony—would be a disaster for the
neighborhood and the city.
Something different is required for this site, for the good of all: a diverse,
flexible, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, creatively designed convention center.
Such a facility would contribute to the city’s economy and urban fabric along
with and regardless of any success enjoyed by the convention market, for
decades to come. The design of the Music City Center will be key, and for this
reason we have crafted a conceptual design study.
We advocate that the main hall be sunk into the site’s slope, and that its roof
become a series of thriving public plazas, wrapped by mixed-use buildings with
active streetfronts and accessed by a maintained street grid as 6th and 7th
Avenues are converted into pedestrian thoroughfares rather than obliterated or
entombed by the sort of “typical” convention center we do not want or need.
We respectfully ask the citizens of Nashville, and the government they have
chosen, to deeply consider making the Music City Center exactly what its name
suggests: a diverse, flexible, useful, strong, beautiful, and appropriate Center for
As a passionate and proud citizen, I want the Music City Center to be more than
a monolithic, single-use box.
I want it to be a mixed-use, flexible facility that will be a world-class convention
center, but that will also benefit Nashville’s greater economy and contribute to
its urban fabric in addition to and regardless of the state of the convention
Sinking the hall and capping it with lively public spaces framed by
retail/residential buildings seems like a good idea to me, but the details are not
as important as the larger vision—the Music City Center should be exactly what
its name suggests: a Center for Music City.
The The MCC Project petition to Citizens of Nashville was written by Nathan Walker and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.