Council to consider Municipal Auditorium's new name, sign

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:47pm

Say goodbye to Nashville Municipal Auditorium and hello to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.

Part of Metro’s Municipal Auditorium Commission’s July agreement to lease space inside the 1960s-era auditorium to the hall of fame –– displaced 20 months ago via eminent domain to make way for Nashville’s new Music City Center –– is a “co-branding” of the facility, which includes a name change. 

That name modification, allowing the facility to be known as Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, is subject to Metro Council approval. A bill sponsored by Councilwoman Erica Gilmore, who represents downtown, is up for the first of three votes at the council’s Oct. 4. meeting. 

With the name change would come a new exterior sign replacing the existing red one, according to Peter Heidenreich, who performs consultant work for Joe Chambers, the hall of fame’s founder. 

The hall, which has leased the space for five years with options for extensions, is required to pay for expenses to remove the existing sign and install a new one. Under its contract with Metro, the hall would have to pay for other cosmetic changes and improvements as well. 

“There will be a complete exterior signage change,” Heidenreich said, adding that final designs aren’t complete, but there are conceptual renderings. 

“It was important for Joe Chambers to have that because he really wants to re-brand the building,” he added. 

The hall’s website,, shows a drawing with the new outside sign already erected. 

Previously situated on Sixth Avenue South –– inside the footprint of the still-under-construction convention center –– the hall honors musicians who recorded on various classic rock and roll, country and soul records. Exhibits, among other things, showcase instruments used to record hit tracks.    

In July, the Municipal Auditorium Commission voted to lease 35,000 square feet of the auditorium’s lower level to the hall, which Chambers plans to turn into an exhibit hall. 

The lease goes into effect Oct. 18. The new hall of fame and museum is likely to open in 2012.  

7 Comments on this post:

By: 4gold on 9/28/11 at 7:08

I dont get how a museum with a few old instruments to stroll around and look at is going to be viable in a space that big. They have got to have their hooks in government supplement funds somehow. How many museum goers would it take to pay for a space that big?

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: govskeptic on 9/28/11 at 7:10

The displacement of this museum by the MCC has sure turned into a
bonanza for Mr. Chambers and his privately owned business. Time
will only tell if the taxpayers of the City have been had again. Since
the deal is done we can only hope he and the city are improved with
yet another museum. At least one other is still in the makings!

By: tcross on 9/28/11 at 8:04

This whole thing is a joke. The "Musicians Hall of Fame"? Who even went to that place when it was open? Most people have never heard of over half of the members anyway. Is this a place to honor the owner's buddies or something? Who is this guy?

So, now we're changing the name so this guy can try and fill up the BASEMENT of Municipal Auditorium with some guitars that were supposedly used on some hit songs. Wierd.

By: Alan Hill on 9/28/11 at 8:40

Shouldn't real estate holders be given consideration when their house/businesses are razed via eminent domain? I can't blame Mr. Chambers for making a deal.

tcrosss, if you are unfamiliar with the many unsung musicians we've all been enjoying for years, maybe you should walk through the museum when it opens!

By: tardistraveler on 9/28/11 at 8:46

The Musicians Hall of Fame is a place to honor all the great sessions players, without whom there would be no Nashville recording industry. I don't know how many people went there at its old location, but it certainly represents music history in this town, and I would imagine in a more prominent location they'll rake in quite a few tourists.

By: macjedi on 9/28/11 at 9:55

While the museum itself is questionable as a tourist and viable business venture, that space has been neglected for quite a while, and needs an injection of life. The Muni is still a good venue for a variety of purposes. It should be given a chance to revive.

By: bruingeek on 9/28/11 at 10:46

Honestly, do we really expect that full name in every ad for an event in this facility? It works ok when there is a musical group performing, but I'm imagining a little confusion over a radio announcement, "Come see the Shrine Circus at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium"...really?? Can't we give it a memorable nickname or a better acronym?