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  • Writer's pictureBrandi & Candace

Parmer Park

This property was originally a part of the Belle Meade Plantation, and owned by Walter O. Parmer. In 1927, bought 8.25 acres of land was donated to the Nashville School Board open a new school. Five acres were owned by Metro Nashville, and the three plus acres remaining owned by the city of Belle Meade. It was originally a one room school house with sixty students, but within a year added 4 classrooms. In 1931, Parmer School was the first Nashville school to get modern refrigerators. In 1940, enrollment expanded to over 350 students. By 1951, an additional 14 classrooms had been added.

When school bussing and integration began changing the dynamics of Nashville schools in the 1970s, many people in Belle Meade began sending their children to private schools and Parmer School attendance dropped. By 1981, it only had 84 students, and was the least populated school in the county. The school closed in 1982, and it was used for storage for Metro Nashville Schools while people tried to figure out what to do with it.

The city of Belle Meade discussed, at length, building housing or a park or selling the land to a private developer, but were unsure of effects on neighboring property values or the city’s budget. There was debate over the legality of Metro Schools transferring the property to Metro Parks, as well as the jurisdiction of Metro Nashville versus Belle Meade over the property. An arsonist burned down the school in 1985, by way of six small fires set in different spots in the school.

The red tape was finally cleared, and the property became a public park in 1986, leaving the stone and brick archway as a reminder of the school’s history. Today, it hosts a playground, picnic shelter, baseball field, basketball court, and paved walking/jogging path.

Name: Parmer Park

Address: 578 Leake Ave, 37205

History: 3 out of 5

Walkability: 5 out of 5

Kid Like-ability- 4 out of 5

Date Night-ability- 3 out of 5

Charm: 3 out of 5

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