Tennessee Preservation Trust

Our Mission & History:

	<p>Tennessee State Capitol (reliquary)</p>

To promote, preserve, and protect our state’s diverse historic resources through education, advocacy, and collaborative partnerships.

The Tennessee Preservation Trust is the state’s only Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We are a membership-based organization that focuses on promoting preservation across Tennessee through education and advocacy. We support individuals and communities across Tennessee who want to protect, restore, and promote their historic and cultural resources.

Headquartered in Nashville, TPT represents thousands of the state’s heritage supporters through individual memberships and partnerships. We work to monitor and promote preservation-friendly legislation at the local, state, and federal levels, and assist Tennesseans with advocacy issues pertaining to specific historic sites, historic districts, and pertinent zoning issues. TPT has a committed staff, an active board of directors, and many dedicated volunteers.

History of the Tennessee Preservation Trust

The Tennessee Preservation Trust started as an idea in 1999. The Tennessee Heritage Alliance, founded in 1982, was active through the mid-1990s but then closed, leaving Tennessee without a statewide voice for preservation. In 1999, a group of individuals, representing interested persons and organizations from across the state, met with staff from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With the assistance of the NTHP, the Tennessee Preservation Trust was formed, inheriting the Tennessee Heritage Alliance’s charter and membership roster.

In 2000, with the support of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and various Tennessee preservation organizations, TPT held its first statewide preservation conference in Franklin, Tennessee. Since that first conference, TPT has held an annual Statewide Conference every year in cities and towns across the state.

Following the first conference, public meetings were held to learn about NTHP’s Partners Program and discuss the possibility of hiring a full-time paid staff. The Statewide and Local Partners program helps emerging nonprofit preservation organizations become more effective by providing organizational development assistance, grant support, specialized workshops and training, information resources, and networking opportunities.

By the fall of 2000, the organization’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council were in place. One third of those selected had served on the organizing committee; the remaining two-thirds were new to the organization, chosen for their commitment to preserving Tennessee’s unique cultural environment.

2001 was an exciting year for TPT. We announced the state’s first “Ten in Tennessee” list—a roster of the state’s most endangered historic places. A website was launched and TPT began republishing the former THA Network newsletter under the TPT name. The board and volunteers continued to strengthen the organization in preparation for hiring staff.

In 2002, TPT established an office in downtown Nashville and debuted the Preservation Directory. In June, thanks to the generous support of the National Trust Statewide Challenge Grant, the organization hired its first full-time executive director, Patrick McIntyre.

Since 2002, TPT has continued to grow and reach more individuals throughout Tennessee. Numerous events have been held, reaching preservationists from the Smokies to the Mississippi. Preservationists in all areas have attended annual Statewide Preservation Conferences and attended regional organization led events and receptions. In 2018, TPT will be relaunching popular , “Toast of Tennessee” Historic Preservation Tours and Events, new educational lecture series and workshops, new Preservation Incentives Courses and Technical Assistance. and of course, growing and expanding the annual Statewide Preservation Conference.