NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two lawmakers would like to see a portion of the street near the Tennessee Capitol Building renamed for a former president rather than the late Rep. John Lewis.
Sen. Frank Nicely (R—Strawberry Plains) and Rep. Paul Sherrell (R—Sparta) introduced a bill that would rename two-tenths of a mile of Rep. John Lewis Way to President Donald Trump Boulevard.
“The segment of road (Rep. John Lewis Way) in Davidson County, Tennessee, beginning with the intersection of such road with U.S. Highway 41/State Route 6 (James Roberston Parkway) and ending at the intersection of such road with Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Blvd is hereby officially renamed as ‘President Donald Trump Boulevard” to honor the former President of the United States,” Niceley’s bill says.
The bill would also remove streets as something that could be protected through the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act of 2016. Currently, streets are one of 14 different things that can be protected as a “memorial” under current state law.
A large section of 5th Avenue was renamed for the late Civil Rights leader and U.S. Representative in 2021 by the Metro Nashville Council. At the time, Metro leaders said the name change was a “fitting tribute to Rep. Lewis and a great day for Nashville in honoring his life and legacy.”
Lewis began his civil rights journey while he was a student at Nashville’s Fisk University and the American Baptist Theological Seminary. He orchestrated the historic lunch counter sit-ins that led to Nashville becoming the first city in the South to start desegregating public places.
Rep. John Lewis Way begins at the intersection of Jefferson Street north of the capitol building and extends down to the City Cemetery at the intersection with Oak Street. The bill would only change the portion of roadway from James Robertson Parkway to Dr. Martin L. King Boulevard, which runs parallel to Capitol Hill.