The City of Brentwood today announced that the Brentwood City Commission will consider a recommendation to acquire 320 acres of the historic property on Wilson Pike from the family of the late Marcella and Reese Smith for development as a park at its next meeting on Nov. 22. The park to be known as the Marcella Vivrette Smith Park will be largest in Brentwood as well as the City’s largest ever land purchase.
“We are extremely grateful to the Smith family for allowing the City to consider the acquisition of this beautiful property for $10 million, a cost well below market value. When the value of the home and immediate property is considered, the price for the remaining land is equivalent to $28,575 per acre. This purchase would reinforce the City’s 2020 plan goal to acquire recreational property for hiking, biking and athletic fields,” said Mike Walker, city manager for the City of Brentwood. “Permanent preservation of this historically significant site is important as we approach full build-out of green spaces in the next 10 years.”
With forested wildlife habitats in their natural state and hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts the land would add a new feature to the City’s comprehensive park system. The site has sufficient land for additional multipurpose fields and a brush recycling environmental area to allow the storage, processing and recycling of chipper material for use on park trails and elsewhere.
“Our family is so pleased that Ravenswood will be preserved for perpetuity in a manner befitting such a historic site.” said Steve Smith, representing the family. “My parents moved here 50 years ago. They restored the house, acquired land around it that had been part of the original estate, and remained at Ravenswood the rest of their lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to honor our mother by naming the park after her.”
Ravenswood was built in 1825 by James Hazard Wilson II. It was named for Sam Houston whom the Indians affectionately called “the Raven”. Houston was best man at the wedding ceremony of Wilson and his bride Emeline in 1821.
The Conservation Fund (TCF), a non-profit organization that saves America’s favorite outdoor places, provided the expertise and capital to purchase the property. If the plan is approved, The Conservation Fund will buy the land, transferring the title to the City at the close of sale, projected for Dec. 31, 2010.
“Rarely today are properties of this size available for cities to set aside for their residents to enjoy,” says Rex Boner, vice president at The Conservation Fund. “With this effort, we’re saving one of Brentwood’s last large open spaces before it becomes just a memory. At The Conservation Fund, we’re thrilled to help protect this special place, providing a convenient park for community recreation.”