The Mainland Companies’ vision for the restored Elliott School is a grand imagining that celebrates Germantown’s rich history with modern design from its early beginnings through today.
The area’s culture and community of immigrants and entrepreneurs that ebbed and flowed from the local streets and through its doors is palpable on the grounds and in the hallways. Their contributions to Nashville’s evolution as a thriving capital city were still very much in the making in 1890, when the Ninth Ward Schoolhouse was renamed to honor George B. Elliott, beloved principal of Nashville’s Tarbox grammar school in midtown.
By 1910, the neighborhood had grown such that a larger building was required, and the new Elliott School was dedicated in 1916. It was a daring modern conception reflecting the sophistication of the chosen architect, Thomas S. Marr, who utilized new materials and technology for a simplicity of form that rendered functional, flowing spaces with a lack of ornamentation and abundance of light. The 18 large classrooms, demonstration kitchen, woodshop, and 750-seat auditorium with the first projection booth in a Nashville city school, all symbolized the up-and-coming North Nashville influence.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, it was purchased by a development firm in 1983, then by neighborhood activists in 1989, who maintained the roof and windows while searching for ways to preserve the property. The Dede Wallace Center (now Centerstone), purchased the schoolhouse and completed much needed repairs and renovations in 1995, before The Mainland Companies acquired the property in 2014, committed to augmenting the school’s important role in the neighborhood’s ongoing transformation. Occupying the perfect location in the most idyllic of Nashville’s neighborhoods, Elliott Germantown is the modern interpretation of the school’s 20th century design: historic luxury in an iconic building on stately grounds. From school to office to homes, the original design continues to provide the canvas for an elegant, abundant, Germantown living experiences.
Named for James Elliott, beloved principal of Tarbox School, the building was dedicated in 1916 as a replacement for the Ninth Ward School building, a smaller, wooden structure with a clocktower. The new building boasted 18 classrooms, a demonstration kitchen, woodshop, and a 750-seat auditorium with the first projection booth in a Nashville city school. Operational as an elementary school until Nashville’s Desegregation Act of 1971, it closed when deemed too small to accommodate integrated classes.
The city converted the school for use as a day care and then for storage until 1977, when it was offered for sale by auction to the public. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, it was purchased by a development firm in 1983.
After years of neglect, a group of activists took over the property in 1989, maintaining the roof and windows while searching for way to repurpose and preserve the property. The nonprofit Dede Wallace Center (now called Centerstone), created a win-win for the neighborhood when they purchased the building and completed a total renovation in 1995. Centerstone continued the tradition of investing in education for Nashvillians, providing training and counseling through their Wallace School until their relocation to a larger facility in 2016. The Mainland Companies acquired the property from Centerstone, including two parking lots across Madison Street, and committed to preserving the school in a new iteration as condominiums, with the addition of sister town homes on the adjacent lots.
Today, the Elliott School is being transformed as the construction crew carefully peels away decades of paint, flooring, plywood overlay and other accommodations made for the building’s various inhabitants over the years. An original iron cross-beam, multi-story windows, chalkboards, and craft brick walls are some of the treasures being restored and repaired for the new residents who will soon make it their home.
FROM MODERN DESIGN
Built in 1916, the three-story Elliott School building is an excellent example of early 20th century design and craftsmanship, featuring abundant sources of natural light, high ceilings, crown molding, period craft interior brick, hardwood floors, plaster walls, marble entry stairs, transom windows, and light-filled stairwells.
TO HISTORIC LUXURY
A modern reflection of historic Nashville: the reimagined Elliott Germantown, located at Sixth and Madison Streets, offers 45 custom residences in a private enclave within downtown’s most desirable revitalized district.