Fannie Mae Dees, 1917-1978
Fannie Mae Dees Park’s mosaic dragon sculpture is well known to Nashvillians, but the same can’t be said for the park’s namesake. Fannie Mae Dees was an outspoken opponent of the Vanderbilt Urban Renewal project, which threatened to demolish her home, along with many others in the area surrounding the university. She fought a 13-year battle to keep her home, during which time she became well known to Metro government officials. “I’ll never leave this house until they carry me out in a box,” she once said. Ironically, she passed away the day before attorneys were to file suit to force her from her home. Soon after, the Metro Board of Parks and Recreation voted to name the new park within the Vanderbilt Urban Renewal Project after her.
Archival prints of the original artwork are available in my etsy shop!