Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Ruins of Nashville's Tent City

In early May a massive flood resulted in the evacuation of Nashville's tent city.  Three months later I visited the site to see what remained. 


A dirt path off of Hermitage Avenue leads to the former tent city under the bridges of I-24.



As I continued down the path I felt like I was entering a lost civilization.








What was once a sanctuary for those who did not fit conventional housing for over two decades has now been deserted.  The ruins of their make-shift homes are all thats left.  An inventory taken before the flood reported that were 140 structures.



The camp expanded and grew organically as more people took refuge in tent city.  Gates were installed in existing fences, which separated the camp into different sections.


Some living spaces appeared to be grouped into smaller enclaves within the larger community.  It was evident that these separate enclaves had different characteristics specific to the residents that once lived there.

The interiors of the homes once included stoves, mattresses, and shelving to store personal possessions.


Nature is beginning to reclaim the abandoned camp.



Local authorities have claimed the site to be contaminated and uninhabitable even though neighboring businesses have returned to the land.  Nashville police monitor the former camp to make sure that no one returns. 



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