The iconic mansion that once belonged to country legend Conway Twitty may be subject to demolition as part of a new building project, and his daughter says Twitty’s surviving family members are heartbroken at the prospect.
Twitty’s estate in the affluent Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tenn., also served as the site for his popular Twitty City tourist attraction until his death in 1993, after which Trinity Broadcasting Network purchased the property and converted it into an entertainment complex. That’s been the site where Mike Huckabee films his show, Huckabee, until a tornado struck the area in December of 2023 and directly impacted the structure of the former mansion.
The property was already under threat of demolition before the storm, since the building is old and not suited to its current purpose. But now it’s going to be impossible to salvage, according to Frank Amedia, who represents TBN’s real estate division. A new plan TBN introduced at a recent Hendersonville Planning Commission meeting proposes to knock the building down to make way for an expanded new studio, as well as independent living and assisted living facilities for seniors.
“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 then the new things aren’t coming,” Amedia said at the meeting.
Twitty’s family don’t want to see the former landmark torn down.
“There’s no question,” Twitty’s daughter, Joni Riels, tells Nashville’s NewsChannel 5. “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.”
The planning commission previously vetoed TBN’s new plan, but it will move on to the Hendersonville Board of Alderman and Mayor for two votes that will decide the fate of the former Twitty mansion.
“It breaks our hearts, but they own the property now. There’s not much we can do to stop it,” Riels adds. “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.”
Amedia says TBN intends to save the famous “Hello Darlin'” sign from the Twitty property, and he’d like to pay tribute to the singer’s legacy if he could get the rights to do so, by displaying memorabilia from his career in the new studio.
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“I think if we go forward to try and bring forth a revival identity of what Twitty was there, I think that satisfies a lot because right now you have no identity of Twitty there,” he tells Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper. “You can’t see the Twitty bird, the brick wall is there but most people don’t know what it is.”
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Country Music News – Taste of Country