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Is There Hope for Preservation of Historic RCA Studio A?

RCA Studio A
Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images

There may still be some good news for fans wanting to see the historic RCA Studio A on Music Row preserved.

The building, which was purchased by Brentwood developer Tim Reynolds, was originally slated for demolition after Reynolds and his company, Bravo Development, determined the building was beyond repair. After asking structural, mechanical and electrical engineers to assess the building, the final assessment was that it would cost too much money to repair the building, including installing a new HVAC system, replacing the fire alarm and sprinkler system and repairing overall structural weakness, among other issues.

However, Reynolds says he is still looking for ways to maintain the history of the building, which was used by Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, Alan Jackson, Hank Williams, Jr., Carrie Underwood and others over the years.

“We have approached various cultural institutions about their interest in helping salvage the few elements of Studio A that are under our ownership,” Reynolds says (quote via SavingCountryMusic.com). “We hope to have positive news to report about those conversations in the coming days.

“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 adds. “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.”

Bravo Development’s PR firm echoes Reynolds wishes.

“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,” they explain. “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.”

Several artists have spoken out about the potential demolition of the building, including Ben Folds, who has rented space in the building for the past 12 years.

“While we Nashvillians can feel proud about the overall economic progress and prosperity we’re enjoying, we know it’s not always so kind to historical spaces, or to the legacy and foundation upon which that prosperity was built,” Folds says. “I’m a musician with no interest in development or business in general. I only want to make music in this historic space and allow others to do the same.”

Keith Urban penned an open letter to Nashville’s Tennessean, urging developers, including Reynolds, to consider the overall cost of destroying historic landmarks.

“Nashville’s growth is exciting, but not at the risk of losing the creative epicenter that is Music Row and that truly makes Nashville Music City,” he says. “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.”

Sturgill Simpson recently released a new single, ‘Life of Sin,’ along with a video of him playing the song in RCA Studio A. Watch the compelling video here.

NEXT: Is Traditional Country Music Dead?

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