"House of Mayors" Set for Razing

Jan 02, 2023 at 09:41 pm by WGNS

(above photo by WGNS news on 1/2/2023)

(MURFREESBORO)  The 1850 victorian mansion on the corner of Spring and Bell Streets is scheduled for demolition, according to the Rutherford County Historical Society. It is known as the House of Mayors, because four local mayors lived there:  Ingram B. Collier was the first to live in the home (mayor from 1872-1873), Newton B. Collier (mayor 1878-1879), James H. Crichlow Jr. (mayor 1900-1909). and N. Collier Crichlow (mayor . 


In 1849 Architect Sterling B. Jones purchased the land and constructed a magnificent solid brick two-story structure with Federal, Greek and Georgian features. 

The Collier-Lane-Crichlow House is located on property originally owned by Captain William Lytle. Captain Lytle was a Revolutionary War veteran and one of the founding fathers of Murfreesboro. He received a land grant as compensation for his services in the Continental Army.

Lytle's land-wealth grew even larger at the turn of the century when he inherited his brother Archibald Lytle's land grant. At that point, Captain Lytle became the largest landowner in Rutherford County.

The Collier-Lane-Crichlow House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. 

After touring the decaying structure, many historians indicated that the former Southern showcase may now be too far gone. 

Rutherford County Historical Society President Pettus Read told WGNS, "Yes, it is hard to see old structures like this come down that contain the historic stories of our past."

Crews are watching the weather, and the House of Mayors may become a memory as early as Wednesday.

As far as preserving local history, Read continued, "Hold fully those (stories) are recorded elsewhere in the history of this city and the House of Mayors is justifiably identified."

He concluded, "Often the cost to restore can become way beyond the justification to rebuild a structure, unless there is a major historical significance of the building and this construction has suffered years of neglect."

(above photo by WGNS news on 1/2/2023)

Rutherford County Historical Society's Carol Robinson White told WGNS, "My heart hurts to see it go.  I am a true lover of history and old houses are our weakness.

My post has initiated several comments on Old Murfreesboro photos.  Some blame the government, both city and county, and I am sure some blame the historical society, and several blame the new owners...I was just notifying folks that we are about to lose an important part of our history.
The photos that I took show the sad condition of the structure...It only takes money to save historic structures and many think the City, County, or Historical Society should step in, but they don't realize that there is no money budgeted for such expenses and then what would they do with the building?
However, I am very sad to see the historic structure go. I do hope that the demolition company will be able to save some of the historic pieces of the home that can be used elsewhere in our city.
With the rapid growth of our city and county, history must be remembered, that is why I took the photos and made the posting. I am a member of the Rutherford County TN Historical Society and try to keep history alive but documenting all that I can. This is not our first loss of a historic home nor will it be our last."
CLICK HERE to see Carol Robinson White's photos and other information from the Rutherford County Historical Society.