Songwriters Hall of Fame set for Music City Center home

Lobby exhibit scheduled to open next spring

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame has struck a deal with Metro officials to be permanently housed in a corner of the Music City Center.

The nonprofit Hall of Fame has 184 members but has never had a physical home. Its backers on Thursday said they will develop the Music City Center’s lobby at Sixth Avenue and Demonbreun into their multimedia home. The exhibit will feature songwriting artifacts as well as three 55-inch touch screens that will let visitors access sound, video and other digital information about the history of Nashville-connected songwriting.

Hall of Fame members’ names — Garth Brooks, Chuck Berry and Jimmy Buffett among them — will be engraved at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Demonbreun and on stone steps leading from Fifth to the lobby.

“The music industry is a vital part of Nashville’s unique culture, and songwriters are often the ‘unsung heroes’ of the business,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “This location at the Music City Center is a fitting space to honor songwriters and their creativity.”

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation will pay for the design, construction and maintenance of its exhibit. The group will this weekend formally launch a capital campaign. A number of music businesses already have contributed.

“We have the opportunity to have a ‘place’ for the Hall to be, where Hall of Famers, friends and fans can see, hear, and learn about the men and women who have literally put the music in Music City,” said John Van Mol, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors.

The Hall of Fame is expected to open next spring along with its bigger convention center home.