Jeff Syracuse

This is some blog description about this site

Two Rivers Mansion Event Center, Metro Arts “Call To Artists” for New Donelson Library and Redistricting Update

Dear Friends,

Good news to share and important updates this newsletter.  First and foremost, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. AsafeNashville.org continues to be Metro’s information site for COVID-19 testing and vaccines. Here’s a great PSA from the TN Council for Development Disabilities featuring our State Representative Darren Jernigan and State Representative Sam Whitson supporting everyone to get vaccinated. It’s the fastest way to end this pandemic.

A major piece of good news is for Two Rivers Mansion’s 14-acre property and all our community. The long-awaited event center, to be located behind the mansion, was funded in Mayor Cooper’s recently released Capital Spending Plan. The Master Plan that Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation, Metro Nashville Historical Commission and the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion put together several years ago to support its preservation and advancement identified an event center as a needed investment to capitalize on the success of the total renovation at the mansion and renewed interest and excitement in hosting events there. This will help keep the mansion preserved while being able to host larger events that also will be a larger revenue generator. This has been a priority project of mine since I’ve been in office and this investment will be transformational for the property and the future of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion. Stay tuned for more details to come.

There is a website dedicated to explaining the required redistricting process we’re going through. Visit it here.  Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census, Metro Nashville must re-establish the boundaries for Metro Council and School Board districts. The new districts must be balanced in population and follow traditional redistricting criteria, in conformance with federal, state, and local rules. The Metro Charter assigns responsibility for redistricting to the Planning Commission, which makes its recommendation to the Metro Council for adoption. Draft maps have been released on the website and you’ll notice the 15th District will likely move our borders both further West and East. Here’s the highlights:

  • Our northern border (the Cumberland River) and southern border (I-40) are both mostly staying the same. We currently have a small section of 37217 south of I-40 along Spence Lane and the northern part of Murfreesboro Pike east of Spence Ln. The 37217 section will likely go to the 16th District and the 15th will extend its southern border along I-40/I-24 to the overpass where they split.
  • The Western border shifts almost to downtown. There isn’t any additional population picked up with this expansion, but it does put City Side in a contiguous district.
  • The Eastern border shifts to a cleaner line between 14th and 15th District along Stewart’s Ferry Pike. Both CM Rhoten and I agree this is a better line and keeps Cloverhill in one district, as opposed to being split between two currently.

I’m comfortable with this first draft as it relates to the proposed changes to our district, but there is time to submit your comments via the website. From a broader perspective, the data and this draft shows where the population has grown across the county, areas that haven’t grown as quickly, where gentrification has occurred the most, and much more. You can also view the proposed changes to the school board districts.

More good news of new restaurants and eateries coming to Donelson. Edley’s announced they will build their largest location at 2717 Lebanon Pike in the totally renovated building owned by Kurzynske & Associates. Also, in this shopping center will be Yeast Nashville, a wonderful bakery. Both these developments will occur sometime in the first part of 2022.

I am excited that our Metro Nashville Office of Arts + Culture has launched a Call to Artists for the two public art projects that will be located at the new Nashville Public Library Donelson Branch. See the graphic below about these two wonderful opportunities for local and national artists. For more information and the application, visit here.

The library project team has been working hard on finalizing the design of our new library and we are close to an unveiling. Stay tuned for more details to come in the weeks ahead.

Metro Arts

The next sidewalk project that should start for our district is the Old Lebanon Pike project, east of JB Estille Rd to Lebanon Pike. This was funded a few years ago and glad to see this important connection move forward. It’s currently out to bid and the contractor should be selected early next year, and the project should start and end in 2022, if all goes smoothly. This project should create a mid-block crossing for McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, like how Party Fowl has on the other end of Old Lebanon Pike to make crossing the road safer from their additional parking area. Remember the Sidewalk Tracker is a good resource to track projects.

Through the hard work of Neighborhood Planting Captains Jenny White in Lincoya Hills, Marie Anderson in Maplecrest, and Erin Duvall in Maplecrest working to recruit neighbors for trees in the district, Lincoya Hills is receiving 55 trees and Maplecrest received 76 trees. All 131 trees were delivered to the recipients' yards during the week of October 11. Most recipients opted to plant their own trees, and Root Nashville staff assisted those who requested help. In March 2022, additional neighborhood trees will also be coming to Merry Oaks through the efforts of onboarding Neighborhood Planting Captain Esmeralda Figueras, an AmeriCorps service member.

Checkout the “Homegrown Origin Story: The First 5 Years” a recently created retrospect on a beloved Donelson hangout. Big thanks to Robin Davis, Jennifer Starks and team for bringing this wonderful taproom and restaurant to our community. The video was beautifully done, and I was honored to be among the neighbors interviewed for it.

There is a great project coming from The Donelson Gateway Project and neighbors in Elm Hill Acres.  Thanks to the leadership of Elm Hill Acres’ neighbor Rick Haley, he designed the below improvement to the end of the Briley Parkway south ramp at Elm Hill Pike near the entrance to Elm Hill Acres. This site has been a persistent problem aggressive panhandlers and drug use. With help from TDOT, the area has been cleaned up and this project will keep the area beautiful and welcoming. If you’d like to support this project, The Donelson Gateway Project is a 501c3 and donations are tax deductible.  To donate, please contact Rick Haley at elmhillacres@gmail.com or via Venmo at @Rick-Haley (last 4 digits of phone number is 5061 for verification). A tax letter will be provided to you for tax write-off purposes.

Elm Hill Briley Pkwy S Exit - Before

Elm Hill Briley Pkwy S Exit - After

MDHA is now accepting applications for its Home Repair Programs and Weatherization Assistance Program from qualifying Davidson County residents. For more information, including the application, qualifications, and eligible projects, visit their website and see the below fliers for more information.

MDHA 1

MDHA 2

As many have heard, NES is creating a program called Power of Change to support the Home Uplift program, providing weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades to homeowners who need it most. You most opt OUT of this program if you choose. Everyone is opted in as it rolls out in January 2022. See this link here for more information on eligibility and how to opt out.

The Donelson Hermitage Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Holiday Market at the Mansion at Two Rivers Mansion on November 19th and 20th. See flyer below for details.

Holiday Market at The Mansion

 

Best,

jeff syracuse

Continue reading
  477 Hits

Laura Carrillo

Laura Carrillo

Laura Carrillo has a very unique and special connection to Donelson.  Her family has helped care for Donelson’s crown jewel historic site – Two Rivers Mansion, for over 50 years and her dedication has helped make the Two Rivers Mansion, the 1802 House and 14-acre property the success it is today.  Laura’s grandfather, Z.L. Milton, purchased a lot on Pennington Bend Road in 1959 to build a retirement home after working for years at Nashville Street Car and Rail.  Laura’s parents married and moved into the home with Laura’s grandparents.  After acquiring a few more contiguous properties, the family still lives there after four generations.

Laura recalls, “My grandfather started me on this journey when I was 5 years old. Mary Louise Bransford McGavock passed away in November of 1965. In January of 1966 her estate auction was held in a downtown Nashville warehouse with 8 inches of snow on the ground. All of the contents from inside the Mansion were sold and the remaining 445 acres were bought by the new Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County. After the sale took place someone broke in the Mansion stealing carpets, drapes all the chandeliers and back banister. Metro Police quickly recovered the stolen items. Now some security had to be put in place to protect the Mansion. My Grandfather got word that they were looking for someone to move into the Mansion and care for it.  Not that my Grandparents wanted to live in a Mansion, but there was 445 acres to raise Black Angus cattle on. They moved from Pennington Bend to the McGavock Mansion (as it was known back then) in the winter of 1967 and stayed until 1972.  So many fond memories with Grandparents and family were spent there. I wanted them to stay forever.”

Laura is able to combine a close personal connection to the Mansion and its history and a professional one as she has worked for Metro Parks for over 25 years.  She further recalls, “Growing up down the street, attending both Two Rivers Middle and McGavock High, I would see the Mansion almost every day.  A friend was getting married back in 1990 and I tagged along on the site visit.  I just wanted to see the inside again and walk down memory lane for a moment.  By accident I heard of a job opening there and the company I was working for was going out of business.  I applied for the job and two weeks later they handed me the keys to the Donelson Castle!!  Another journey had started and the plan was just to be there for a short time, which was 25 year ago this past March. “

Laura says she was born in the wrong century.  As a lover of antiques, especially from the mid to late 1880’s, it’s a passion that she shares with husband, Joe.   When they were dating, they’d spend all day in small towns going through all the antique shops and flea markets.  Laura’s Mother-in-law had been an antique dealer and owned a shop.  Laura and Joe plan their vacations around antiquing and touring historical homes.  They even have his and hers antique booths to see who does better each month.  They’ve both brought that passion to the Two Rivers Mansion with the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion’s “Two Hearts Antiques & Crafts Show, which this year will be Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18 from 10am-4pm and Sunday, February 19 from 12pm – 4pm.  The Mansion is full of vendors both downstairs and upstairs, so it’s a great opportunity to see the mansion as well.  Members are free.  $5/adults and $2/kids.  There’s a Coffee Shoppe as well. 

As to the future of the Mansion, the future is bright.  One of the latest successes of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion is completing the process to research and design a Two Rivers Master Plan, which was recently finalized was presented to the Metro Parks Board on January 3, 2017.  It will help guide the preservation and advancement of the property.  One exciting element is the recommendation to rebuild the carriage house that would become an event center.   The building would be designed to hold 200 – 300 people and could be used for all types of events.   The inside of the Mansion and 1802 house would become house museums.  Tours are only available now on a limited basis, but hopefully more will be available in the future.  Laura’s personal and professional passions are on full display as she greets guests in her 1850’s costume and shares the whole McGavock story.

Continue reading
  4886 Hits