Rhinestone Wedding Chapel, others brace for change on Music Row

Photo: FOX 17 News

Developers are eyeing an iconic part of Nashville for new building opportunities, and the soon-to-come change has some wondering if Nashville's most historic music halls can coexist with the new development.

A company has already bought five lots along Music Row that includes the Rhinestone Wedding Chapel and Bobby's Idle Hour. That purchase has left businesses in a purgatory, waiting for a notice that they must move out in six months.

"It's for the tourists that come to Nashville and are looking at something genuine," said Brenda Enderson, owner of the Rhinestone Wedding Chapel. "When these buildings are replaced with a five or six story building, the history is going to be removed. It's gone."

The houses along Music Row often still include the original recording rooms where icons like Waylon Jennings would record their music. The Rhinestone Wedding Chapel building was constructed in 1902, but the new developer plans to put a larger building in the area.

The wedding chapel is the only one in Nashville that offers Elvis Weddings. They do more than 700 weddings per year. A couple from Fort Lauderdale, Florida came to Nashville to get hitched by Elvis Thursday. As Enderson says, her business is joy and love.

"Change is always going to happen no matter what," said Wes Bowling who plays Elvis at the chapel. "Nashville needs to recognize and remember what made them Nashville. That's the music."

Bowling sings, impersonates and contributes to officiating the weddings. He's a gem that brings immense smiles to couples every week.

Brenda Enderson said she's not concerned about saving her business; if she has to move, she will, but she wants the history of the buildings to be preserved because they represent what made Nashville famous.

"This is the identity of Music Row," Enderson continued. "These houses on Music Row. A lot of Music was recorded."

And, that's an understatement.

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