Local preservationist resigns historic board over May Town Center

Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:05pm

Local preservationist Fletch Coke has resigned from the Historic Nashville Inc. board because of her opposition to the proposed May Town Center development, which is being pushed by fellow board member and developer Tony Giarratana.

Coke was a driving force on a number of Nashville preservation issues, including the rehabilitation of the city cemetery in recent years.

Coke said in her resignation letter she hoped the May Town Center issue would have been resolved at last month’s Planning Commission meeting. With the $4 billion proposed development for rural Bells Bend still hanging in the balance, Coke said she could no longer serve with Giarratana.

“Since I am firmly opposed to the development of the May Town Center in Bells Bend, I can no longer serve on the HNI Board with the developer Tony Giarrantana,” Coke said in her preservation letter.

Historic Nashville Inc. is a private organization that works to preserve, revitalize and enhance historic structures.

5 Comments on this post:

By: Equanimity on 6/18/09 at 2:09

Rare that someone will make a significant sacrifice for the sake of her principles nowadays. Brava, Mrs. Coke, and thank you for your extraordinary service to this board and so many other organizations and interests in Nashville! Yours is a legacy of selfless thoughtfulness, broad and hungry intellect, and the sanctification of the stories, environs and people you've animated in your work.

Others learn by your example.

By: smartgrowth on 6/18/09 at 3:14

Historic Nashville has become a pathetic joke in the preservation community, statewide and nationwide. The organization has been taken over by developers and/or attorneys/professionals that represent developers, and is a shill organization for their decidedly non-preservation interests. They have gone to the dark-side and their retro-grade efforts and agenda are an insult to anyone that vaguely believes in preservation. They have been pimped-out and are proud of it. The planned and approved rape of Lower Broadway (just waiting for the economy to turn around) has been their crown jewel up until now. What do they do preservation wise...nothing. It has become a shadow, unfunctioning organization with no staff, that the developers keep on self-serving life support to only trot out, when the need arises, to justify their grandiose projects that destroy what's left of our ravaged historic landscape in Nashville. Nashville is the "bad" example nationwide for how a 200 year old city should maintain it's historic patrimony, and Historic Nashville is the sad joke that has been co-opted to assist them. We're the least walkable city in the US, a shining example of a development community that has held so much political sway that it could develop an entire city virtually void of sidewalks, much less of thoughtful planning for a sustainable living environment. Bell's Bend is one more disastrous pie in the sky project that our bought and sold political community is giving to their benefactors.
God bless Fletch Coke for refusing to be used in this manner. She and a few others have been trying to revive Historic Nashville and divert it from its shameful past. As many of us in the preservation community have said for years...there is no hope for Historic Nashville. It is irrevocably compromised and must be abandoned by the preservatrion community and a new valid organization created. Thank you Fletch for beginning that process.

By: dogmrb on 6/18/09 at 3:27

Fletch Coke has always been a woman of principle. What in the world is Tony Giarrantana doing on such a board? It's the fox in the hen house.

By: Kosh III on 6/19/09 at 6:59

"Fletch Coke has always been a woman of principle. What in the world is Tony Giarrantana doing on such a board? It's the fox in the hen house."

My thoughts exactly. What qualification does he have? O yeah......money.

By: govskeptic on 6/19/09 at 1:10

Tony was apparently appointed to the Board to make sure Historic preservation did not interfere with the defacing or removal of any downtown building needing to be replaced by developers.