“You better watch out… might even cry… you’re gonna pout… I’m telling you why… Music City Center is coming to town.” That is the song being heard at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. The proposed Music City Center is in the works to be voted into existence or off the books January 19th of 2010.
“The controversial new $585 million convention center for Nashville, the largest capital project in Tennessee history seems to have the assured support of the Metro Council. Though the recent unveiling of the project’s long-awaited finance package lacks financing for a hotel, a component viewed almost universally as crucial to the facility’s long-term success, lobbyists and Council members on both sides of the issue all seem pretty confident that the Council, the ultimate arbiter on the question, will approve the so-called Music City Center come the 19th’s critical final vote.” (The City Paper, December 13, 2009)
Until then, we will have to suffer through the unsettled climate of business owners, city council members, citizens, and music lovers not seeing eye to eye. The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is just one of the properties attempting to be purchased by the city in preparation for the approval to being construction on the Music City Center. Local producers, musicians, and industry pros are unhappy with the treatment of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum as it was built in their honor.
Since opening in 2006, the 30,000 square foot museum has inducted a generous list of musical contributors including this year’s list: Chet Atkins, Billy Cox, Dick Dale, Charlie Daniels, Fred Foster, Victor Feldman, Paul Riser and the band Toto. About a year after opening the museum on 6th Ave. South in 2006, owner Joe Chambers learned that he had set down roots in the path of the eminent Music City Center.
The original proposal for the center offered to Chambers has apparently been taken off the table. “The Hall of Fame’s owner said he’s seen new drawings of the convention center and that the museum is no longer in the plans.” In the initial plans – the developers promised the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum a home within the proposed center. That would have kept the facility right in the heart of downtown Nashville. Needless to say, this has been an unpredictable few years for Joe Chambers.
Chambers says the museum property is worth about twice the $4.8 million the city is offering. “The uncertainty, coupled with the city’s decision to start legal proceedings to seize Chambers’ property — at a price he’s not happy with — has made him nervous about the future and led him to talk to other cities about relocating his facility, ” says Michael Cass of the Tennessean.
We can’t afford to lose a museum of this nature and caliber. Nashville is called Music City and yet they are shafting a museum established to preserve and honor the history and talent of musicians. If the deal was offered and withdrawn – shame on the developers for the change of plans. If the city is low-balling the offer to purchase the property – shame on the city for not wanting to treat others as they would want to be treated. We will all have to stay tuned in to this issue until the next chapter is revealed on January 19th, 2010. Until then – God speed and best wishes to the dedicated Joe Chambers who continues to fight for his vision of a hall of fame/museum and for the musicians of this great city.
To read more click the following links:
To visit the plans for the center or learn more about the museum, follow these links: