Nearly a year after Nashville was awarded a $50,000 grant to revitalize the Village Green, the arts parts of the plan are beginning to take shape.

The “old library” at the corner of Jefferson and Main streets was retrofitted into new public restrooms last spring. But since then, the wooden walls in the gathering area outside the stalls have been bare.

Now, they’re decorated with historic photographs of downtown Nashville by legendary Brown County photographer Frank M. Hohenberger.

That project was a joint effort by the Nashville Parking and Public Facilities Commission and the Nashville Arts and Entertainment Commission. The groups also have been working on finding just the right furniture to fill the common area.

Outside, more work will be getting underway soon.

By July, a new play area for all ages could be finished on the lawn of the Village Green.

The front porch of the new restrooms will feature benches and tables, said Nashville Chief Administrator Phyllis Carr. They will be able to be used by adults as they relax and watch their children play on an “interactive border” on the north end of the grassy area. The town will accept bids from local artists who wish to build that element of the play area until Friday, March 31.

A balance beam element will also be included in the play area which people can sit on or walk across. For another section, an artist will be commissioned to create three limestone animals.

Mulch and sidewalks will be included along with trees, shrubs and plants.

Nashville was awarded one of four communities to receive grants for Place Based Investments from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and Office of Community and Rural Affairs last May. The competitive matching grant program is intended to help with projects that promote quality of life, improve tourism experiences and develop multi-purpose gathering places.

The $50,000 grant will go toward the play area. The project overall has received $103,195 in matching funds from local entities, including the town of Nashville, the Rotary Club of Brown County, the Brown County Community Foundation and the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Rotary Club will work on restoring the town pump on the same corner as the restrooms. That pump used to supply water to homes in downtown Nashville before and during the time when Hohenberger lived across the street from it.

The shelter over the pump will be rebuilt using Brown County stone, beams with braces, hand-split shakes and steel-forged bolts, Carr said. It will also have benches and will be wheelchair-accessible.

An “interactive water feature” might be built in the future. The well has been closed for years, so water from it cannot be pumped due to health issues, she said.

An informational kiosk will also be placed in the same area. It will be used to cross-promote events in the state park, Yellowwood State Forest and Hoosier National Forest.

Last week, the Nashville Development Review Commission passed a motion saying they agreed with the overall concept, allowing Carr to finalize details as they come together.

Artists wanted

The Nashville Arts and Entertainment Commission is looking for artisans, including metal workers and woodworkers, to respond to a request for qualifications for the Village Green Revitalization project.

The project includes creating game tables and seating, interactive border elements and a play space element.

RFQ information can be picked up at Town Hall or interested parties may request materials be emailed to them.

All submitted RFQs must be placed in a sealed envelope with the artist’s name and project written on the envelope. Proposals will be accepted until 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 31.

With questions, contact Phyllis Carr at 812-988-5526 or

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.