Hallowed Ground

Several hundred feet uphill from the proposed site for Cloud Hill is Fort Negley, one of Nashville’s unique cultural icons and a place that Cloud Hill honors with great respect. In fact, the name “Cloud Hill,” is actually a line straight from the history of this special place, alluding to the antebellum name for the site, “Saint Cloud Hill.”

Built largely by conscripted African-Americans during Union occupation during the Civil War, Fort Negley holds a special place in our nation’s history and is dear to the hearts of many Nashvillians. The acres of flat land below the Fort are important too, having undergone many transformations since the end of the war – from a residential community to private land, to little league fields, to most recently in the 1970s and ʼ80s becoming Greer Stadium and the Adventure Science Museum.

Although this area is separated from Fort Negley, the Cloud Hill plan is passionate about better connecting people in our city to this great resource. As evidenced by the design of our plan, the history of this place is what makes it stand out as unique, and good design can help honor it. We plan to do this by: 

  • Creating a memorial on-site to properly honor and respect the men and women who built the Fort. Whether archaeological remains are discovered here or not, this will be a tribute to the lives of those who built this place.
  • Honoring the Fort as a historic icon at the top of the hill. To preserve its viewsheds, no building in the Cloud Hill plan is any taller than the existing baseball stadium bleachers, so the historic Fort will always be visible.
  • Emphasizing a network of interpretive trails, paths and views to help tell the important history of this place, while connecting it through a network of greenways to the rest of the city.

This site has a long history in our city so it is important we know what lies beneath the 21 acres of asphalt and steel that make up the Greer Stadium property today. Before any construction or development begins, we need to determine whether there are any archaeologically sensitive areas within this site. Recently, Metro hired an archaeology firm to conduct an independent archaeological survey of the entire site, and we look forward to their findings.

The results of this archaeological survey will inform what happens next, and we will work with the city and the community to make any necessary adjustments to our proposal to ensure this site’s history is respectfully memorialized. Our intention has always been to embrace the history of this place, and we look forward to doing that together with you.

william rosenthal