A group trying to save the former home of Randy’s Record Shop has two more weeks to secure funding or the building could be demolished.
The Gallatin City Council voted Tuesday to delay a decision on whether to move forward with demolition of the West Main Street property until July 2 in order to give members of the Historic Randy’s Record Shop Foundation time to get letters of commitment from donors and a cost estimate to restore the former record shop.
“Nobody on this council wants to tear that building down,” District 3 Councilman Jimmy Overton said during the meeting. “We’ve just got to do something. We’ve put this off for a long time.
“I’m more interested now (in seeing) that this is a viable plan and it’s not a viable plan unless we have some real facts.”
City leaders first declared the building to be imminently dangerous last year after learning its roof had collapsed July 18. Since then, braces have been added to the outer wall, a safety fence has been installed and the tenants of an adjoining building have moved out.
While some money has been raised to save the record shop, “it’s not what I need,” said Tisha Borders, president of the foundation.
“I understand the concern of the council is safety… but we need additional time to get the funds necessary to secure the building,” Borders told city leaders Tuesday. “This is not an easy project.”
Local real estate investor Michelle Haynes, who partnered with then At-Large Gallatin City Councilman-elect Steve Fann to purchase the West Main Street property in December, told the Gallatin News earlier this year that she does not plan to pay for the estimated $1 million in total building repair costs if the group is unsuccessful.
If city leaders choose not to grant other extension next month, a notice would then be sent to the property owners with a date to have the building demolished by. If the work is not completed on time the city would take over the work.
Gallatin Building Official Chuck Stuart said last week that asbestos has been found in the former record shop, which has continued to deteriorate in the nearly one year since the roof collapse.
“Visually looking at the building from passing by and not going up close, it looks like we’ve had more block and more deterioration going on,” Stuart added Tuesday. “It would take an engineer to tell you how much more deterioration has happened on the building.
“It’s not getting any better.”
Opened by Gallatin native and music business entrepreneur Randy Wood in 1944, Randy’s Records grew in popularity to become the world’s largest mail-order record business of its day with approximately 500,000 records sold each year, according to the New York Times.
Wood also started Dot Records in the late 1940s, which featured many popular artists at the time including Johnny Maddox, Pat Boone, Barbara Mandrell, Ray Price and Tab Hunter.
Foundation officials hope to use private donations and grants to restore the building and turn it into a functioning record shop and museum to honor its late founder.
“I grew up here in this town and I know what Randy’s Record Shop means to Gallatin and to the world,” said Gallatin resident Johnny Griffin, who has been working to save the building since its roof collapsed last summer. “It would be a travesty for it to be torn down.
“I’m not going to give up because I know what it means to the City of Gallatin for this to be restored.”
HOW TO DONATE
By check: Make checks payable to Historic Randy's Record Shop Foundation and mail to Historic Randy's Record Shop Foundation, P.O. Box 8047, Gallatin, TN 37066
For more information about how to make a private or corporate donation, contact Johnny Griffin at 615-585-0504