LifeWay's office tower on the west side of downtown will soon be imploded to make way for a new billion-dollar development called Nashville Yards. And the iconic crosses on the sides of the building will come down with it.
The sprawling campus where Bibles and Baptist Sunday school materials were printed for a century has a number of key features. The developer, Southwest Value Partners, has been working to preserve some artifacts, like scriptures inscribed in stone and brass medallions in some windows. A statue of pastor Billy Graham was also moved last year to a conference center in the mountains of North Carolina.
But a spokesman says after careful consideration, it was determined the embedded crosses could not be salvaged. The stone was glued to steel when the tower was erected in 1991. There was concern removal could take out the entire stone facade.
“Developing Nashville Yards with integrity and respect remains our top priority," says Cary Mack of SWVP. "That’s why we have worked closely with LifeWay to protect their legacy."
LifeWay's CEO says in a statement the development team has shown great respect for the company's heritage after purchasing the property for $125 million in a deal described as "epic."
"We remain grateful for Southwest Value Partners’ thoughtfulness and look forward to all that Nashville Yards will contribute to our city," Thom Rainer says.
A date has not been set, but the developers have pulled a permit for the 12-story structure to be imploded, which is likely the largest implosion in Nashville's recent downtown building spree. Plans for the 15-acre site include one of the largest hotels downtown, as many as 1,200 apartments or condos along with office space, restaurants and an entertainment venue.