Our neighborhood boasts a rich history including people, locations, and events that have added to the history of the city of Nashville and to our neighborhood. Here are just a few of the historical highlights from the Renraw Community Association and our neighborhood.
Renraw – The stately farm across the river far from Nashville was the home of Percy Warner. Born in 1861, The Warners in 1863 fled to escape the civil war the Warner family and moved from Chattanooga to Nashville to their farm on Gallatin Road. Percy would become a prominent civic leader and business man in Nashville who along with his brother Edwin donated and developed the park system in the city which is recognized now as one of the largest municipal park systems in the country. At this home in East Nashville, Percy Warner who had a love of wildlife and animals maintained a menagerie of exotic animals on the grounds of the Renraw Mansion. One particular favorite was a pet crane, which is used as a symbol in the logo for the Renraw Community Association. Warner lived for years at the Gallatin Road farm (Renraw is Warner spelled backwards) before moving to “Royal Oaks” on Harding Road.
Trevecca Nazarene College- was founded in 1901 by the Reverend J.O. McClurkan as the Literary and Bible Training School for Christian Workers. In 1914 the College was moved from downtown Nashville to the site of the Warner Mansion in the Renraw Neighborhood area.. The college continued to be located at this site until 1935 when it was established at its present location on Murfreesboro Road.
Nashville Auto Diesel College – One of the leading technical schools is in the nation, NADC boasts successful graduates that are well known in the racing industry and have served on the racing teams of some of NASCAR’s most famous drivers.
Hattie Cotton Elementary School- The Renraw Community local area neighborhood elementary school is the site of one of Metro Nashville’s newest elementary schools – Hattie Cotton Elementary School. The original school building dated back to the late 1950’s when it was again a new school building just opening during the height of the civil rights and school integration movement in Nashville. Late one evening after midnight on September 9, 1957, the neighborhood was rocked by an explosion at the school. The violent act did extensive damage to the school, it fortunately no one was injured because of the time of the blast.
Tennessee Poet Laureate – Richard M. “Pek” Gunn Our neighborhood was for many years home to Richard M. “Pek” Gunn, local author, humorist and Tennessee Poet Laureate. His books of poems and caught the humor and wit of Tennessee and was enjoyed for years. He also served as a Tennessee Legislator.
In March, 2002 a small group of neighbors got together to talk about and plan ways to improve their neighborhood in response to concerns about neighborhood issues and conditions including declining property values, codes violations, crime, traffic, absentee landlords and the increase in rental property in the neighborhood.
The name Renraw comes from the Percy Warner Mansion that is located in the neighborhood and serves as the administration building on the campus of the Nashville Auto Diesel College. The rather unusual name is actually Warner spelled backwards.
The boundaries of the Community Association are Carolyn Avenue (North), Inga Street (West), Strouse Avenue (South) and Gallatin Road (East). The area includes several neighborhood subdivisions including the Renraw subdivision, the Irvington subdivision, and the Springdale subdivision. Many of the homes in the area were built in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s and include a variety of styles. Besides encompassing the location of the Percy Warner mansion – Renraw. The neighborhood was also home to Richard “Pek” Gunn, Tennessee Poet Laureate.
The goals of the Renraw Community Association are to Network with all neighbors; Develop neighborhood involvement and awareness; keep the neighborhood safe from crime whether vice, drugs, property crimes and traffic; communicate and educate residents about issues and concerns; monitor compliance with Metro codes and report codes violations; maintain contact with and open channels of communication with organizations in our neighborhood and with Nashville city officials.
Since the start of the community association the group has successfully completed several projects including receipt of a grant from the Mayors Office of Neighborhoods and the Nashville Cool project. The first social event for the association was held last fall, 2002 and in April, 2003 the association worked together to have a successful “Clean-up Day” for the neighborhood. The group also successfully blocked a zoning change in the neighborhood that would have increased the number of renters in the area surrounding Strouse Avenue.
The Renraw Community Association meets the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. The meeting location is the Church of God of Prophecy located at 903 Strouse Avenue. The meetings usually include a program or speaker and then a short business meeting. Previous speakers have included representatives from Metro Codes, Zone officers from the Metro Police Department, Metro Planning Department, Representatives from the Nashville Auto Diesel College, and local realtors speaking on neighborhood issues.
For more information about the Renraw Community Association you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org