Innovation Catalyst: Naval Reserve Building

Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms has been selected to participate in the 2020-2021 Innovation Catalyst Program through the Center for Nonprofit Management. This seven-month intensive program will help Friends of Shelby clarify strategic priorities, improve sustainability, diversify revenue, and engage current funders and stakeholders in different ways. The focus of our work will center on the redevelopment of the Naval Reserve Building.

Our Vision is Rooted in Community Input and Creates a New Venue for the Community

The Shelby Park Master Plan calls for rehabilitation of the Naval Building with uses that enhance the park experience and benefit the public.  Friends of Shelby, working with Metro Government, would like to rehabilitate the Naval Building as a first of its kind community space in our city parks. The ICat program will help Friends of Shelby and the City through the initial investigation related to cost, funding, and feasibility of rehabilitation and lead to a broader community-wide discussion about the possible uses for the building itself. 

Why Friends of Shelby Selected the Naval Building

This project gives Friends of Shelby an opportunity to achieve a major goal of both the park master plan and the organization’s strategic plan. This process will re-engage Metro and the community in the discussion of the Naval Building, the urgent need to begin work or lose the structure entirely, and the possibilities that rehabilitation of this iconic city building brings.

Located near the Davidson Street entrance inside Shelby Park, the Naval Reserve Training Building was built in 1949 and used as a training facility for the U.S. Navy until 2009. Designed by renowned Nashville architect Edwin A. Keeble, the structure’s unique ‘Nautical Moderne’ style led to the building’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Years of heavy use, limited maintenance, and over 10 years of abandonment have left this iconic building in disrepair. It is our intent to maintain the National Register listing as part of the rehabilitation project.

Read the National Register Documents

Stay Tuned!


Thank you to our Partners