2012Creative Class

Trolley Barns

Creative Class

Trolley Barns
Nashville, TN
Completed in: 2012 / 2013
Client: The Mathews Company


To gain a sense of Nashville’s renaissance as a vibrant culture with world-class resources, look no further than the Trolley Barns. The Trolley Barns have a long, rich history dating back to the 19th century roller mills that processed wheat, lumber and corn.  In the late 1930s, the WPA built these six low-brick structures to house the city’s vehicle fleet. No trolley ever saw the inside of these “trolley barns,“ but the name remained.

The site was neglected for years and the buildings fell into disrepair.  As Nashville’s urban core grew, this untapped area south of Broadway became a priority for the city.  Centric Architecture had the good fortune to be invited to join the historic redevelopment effort.

The project was one part historic preservation, one part adaptive reuse, and ten parts amazing creative office. Enabled by the federal historic tax act credits to help reduce overall development costs, the program seemed destined for greatness from the very beginning — despite beginning at the height of the country’s recession.

Today, the soaring trusses and ceilings, solid brick walls, wood deck ceilings, and steel windows have transformed the Trolley Barns into a hub of creative entrepreneurship. The energy is intoxicating.

Today it is one of the most in-demand spaces in middle Tennessee. We were so confident in the success of the development that we made it our home. Come visit us. We love to show it off!


ULI Excellence in Development Award 2013, The Historical Commission of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County 2013 Preservation Award


On the National Historic Register of Historic Places