HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A big piece of Hendersonville’s history might be demolished in the near future.
“Twitty City” — which was built by country music legend Conway Twitty — was hit by the Dec. 9 tornado.
The homes on the property that he built for his family became a top tourist destination in the 80s. When the musician died, it closed and became an entertainment complex run by Christian TV network Trinity Broadcasting Network.
After the tornado damaged it, TBN decided it might be time to tear it down.
“Unfortunately, it’s a public fact, TBN was highly under-insured on that site, so now we’re at a position if we’re going to put money into fixing old things than the new things aren’t coming,” said Frank Amedia speaking on behalf of Trinity Broadcasting Network at Hendersonville Planning Commission meeting.
Joni Riels is the daughter of the late country superstar.
“There’s no question. We would much rather drive by and see it standing because Dad worked so hard to build this place and make it a special place for fans to come and enjoy and for our family to live,” said Joni Riels.
The Dec. 9 tornado took a toll on the entire property. Amedia with TBN said it will be hard to come back from it.
“We’re at a crossroads right now, and not by our doing, but by a tornado that hit Dec. 9. We have 100 staff people, production editors, some are working from home, some are trying to work in a building that’s unsafe right now,” Amedia said.
Before the tornado, TBN was already making plans to build a new production studio and housing for seniors somewhere on their property. Check out videos from the popular tourist destination and its past in the video above.
If the company demolishes the homes that the Twitty family lived in, they could use that land.
“It breaks our hearts, but they own the property now. There’s not much we can do to stop it. I think it’s probably been in the plan a lot longer than the tornado because you don’t just come up with that plan. They weren’t using the property at all,” Riles said.
Although the planning commission voted down the idea, it still moves onto the Hendersonville Board of Alderman and Mayor. In two weeks, the proposal will go before BOMA for a vote. Then, there will be another vote at the following meeting unless it doesn’t pass on the first reading.