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Despite Keith Urban’s Pleas, Nashville’s RCA Studio A Heading Toward Demolition

Keith Urban
Erika Goldring, Getty Images

Even though Keith Urban and many others pleaded for the preservation of Music Row, one of the treasured landmarks — RCA’s Studio A building — is headed toward demolition.

RCA Studio A is a 51-year-old, 5,000 square foot precious landmark in Music City, part of a 20,000 square foot structure. Artists like Ben Folds led a charge to preserve the studio that has housed Folds for 12 years. Brentwood developer Tim Reynolds of Bravo Development finalized the purchase of the building in August, but sadly, the studio’s future does not look good.

Even though Reynolds said previously that his full intentions were to ” … preserve and incorporate the studio into our design,” and even added, “[I]f it can’t be done, I would certainly withdraw my contract, because it has always been our intention to incorporate [Studio A] somehow in our design,” that no longer seems to be the case. Nashville Scene reports that Bravo is backpedaling after structural, electrical and mechanical engineers concluded that preserving the studio was “financially unfeasible.”

In a new statement, Bravo says:

“Reynolds said the cost of renovating the building would far outbalance any reasonable rates the developer could ask from the market for the space. The age and condition of the building have long created challenges for past management when leasing the property. He is now determining next steps for the property. Reynolds has approached various cultural institutions about their interest in helping salvage the few elements of Studio A that are under Bravo Development’s ownership. He hopes to have further information on that front in the coming days. He is also looking at ways to commemorate the Studio’s history as part of any development.”

According to the Scene, Reynolds refused to answer any questions regarding his previously stated commitment about pulling his contract if the studio could not be preserved.

Understandably, this is a blow to musicians throughout Music City, regardless of genre. In his plea, Urban urged Nashville residents to stand up for preservation, saying, “I sincerely hope that those who have made Nashville their home over the years, and those who have recently discovered our fair city, will come together as a united front and continue to be vocal about preserving and fortifying our beloved Music Row.”

However, there is hope toward the end of Reynolds’ latest letter. “There is no question many legendary studio recordings came to life within the walls of Studio A and that those performances are worthy of commemoration; as such, our architects, advisors and designers are confident that there are many creative ways to memorialize these events,” he writes. “Again, we know there are many people who share our appreciation for Nashville’s music-rich history. We want to take the right ‘next step’ with this property with careful consideration of its current condition and limitations.”

Only time will tell what will happen to historic Studio A.

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