Lebanon recently approved legislation that creates a temporary demolition moratorium for multiple areas that are under consideration for a historical designation.
The ordinance comes after the demolition of a home once owned by Judge Nathan Green at 607 W. Main Street in Lebanon in late September, which caught many by surprise.
The home dates back to around 1850-1852, according to Executive Director of Historic Lebanon and an ex-officio member of the Lebanon Historic Preservation Commission Kim Parks.
Wilson Bank & Trust bought the former Green property for $1.35 million on Sept. 13, according to the Wilson County Property Assessor’s Office.
The former Green property is about 1.7 acres between Wilson Bank & Trust’s main office and another property the bank owns and now leases.
The bank purchased the Green house to address future growth needs according to bank CEO John McDearman. Wilson Bank & Trust has not finalized plans for the former Green property.
“The intent is to have a master plan,” McDearman said.
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Lebanon's recent ordinance is a “temporary step in continuing preservation efforts,” Lebanon Mayor Rick Bell said.
The areas that were approved for the temporary demolition moratorium to evaluate for historic overlays by Lebanon’s Historic Preservation Commission include:
The 600 block of West Main Street and part of 700 block.
The 500 block of West Main to the public square.
East Main from the Square to Park Avenue.
The former Castle Heights Military Academy campus area.
The number of structures to be included in the new historic districts will be determined in the coming months, Parks said.
When new historic districts are approved, they will have design guidelines specific for their historic overlay area.
“The idea is to protect not only historic properties, but the district as a whole,” Parks said. “Guidelines would address requirements for new buildings, review of any demolitions and review of any updates to structures.”
The ordinance seeks the moratorium through no later than June 30. Lebanon’s city council passed the ordinance on two readings, the second in early November.
Potential landmarks outside of a study area can also be included in the moratorium, Parks said.
"Unfortunately, some of our structures have been lost because of the time it takes,” Lebanon council member Camille Burdine said. “So considering all recent events, it is important that we as a city use measures … to protect what we value.”
The Green house had been vacant for a number of years. The bank determined cost to restore the structure was not feasible, McDearman said.
Any plan that does move forward for the property will include recognition of the Green family and the property’s historical significance, McDearman said.
The property was appraised for $484,800, according to the assessor’s office.
Reach Andy Humbles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Lebanon reevaluates historic designations after demolition of 1850s home