Clarksville, TN – On June 22nd, the Clarksville Office of Housing and Community Development, along with Clarksville Mayor Pro Temp Geno Grubbs, were on hand when the homeowner of 50 Union Street was presented with keys to her new home.
Union Street lies within the Dog Hill Architectural District known for its late Victorian Architectural Style which consists of typical turn of century framed construction cottages. The district got its name because neighborhood canines would howl at the whistles of the nearby trains and steamboats.The project was possible through the help of various city departments, neighbors, and an enthusiastic homeowner. The new house is contemporary yet consistent with the rest of the buildings along the street. With its hardy board exterior and a few other special treatments, the new house fits well into the district.
The City of Clarksville Office of Housing and Community Development provided Community Development Block Grant and HOME grant funds for the project. “This is an important project because it has a stabilizing effect on the rest of the neighborhood,” said Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan. “Building something new in a historic district always presents a challenge because we want to honor the beautiful aesthetics of the old district while taking advantage of advances in building products and techniques. This project is another great example of what happens when everyone brings their best ideas and resources to the table.”
“This is infill development at its best,” said Keith Lampkin, Director of the Clarksville Office of House and Community Development. “This project increases the vitality and safety of the district while adding even more character to an already wonderful historic district. I’m very proud that we could be a part of making this happen for the homeowner and the community.”
In addition to the house at 50 Union Street, there are thirteen other area homes in the process of being repaired or re-constructed. Six are being demolished and rebuilt on their existing footprint, two are being demolished and the remaining homes are being rehabilitated. These homes are located throughout the City: South Clarksville, Brandon Hills, North Clarksville and one in St. Bethlehem.
Another issue of concern in a City with a rapidly growing population is affordability. New housing projects are exciting but there is a real need to respect the history of established neighborhoods and provide affordable housing opportunities for our community. When rehabilitation is not feasible, the City’s Reconstruction Program can give low-income homeowners an opportunity to demolish their existing severely deteriorated homes and construct a new home on their same lot.
“It’s also important to acknowledge the nonprofit efforts that go into these projects,” said Mr. Lampkin. “Our office is partnering with two non-profit community Church groups, Saints Alive and Operation Serve (Grace Community Church). Saints Alive will be assisting three to four households next week. Operation Serve is scheduled to complete work in late September.”
“These efforts are examples of how the City can use the resources we have to provide safer, affordable and well-built homes for our community,” said Mayor McMillan. “Working with homeowners, nonprofit organizations and utilizing federal grant money, we are able to find creative solutions to these important community challenges.”