The art and clay studios will experience a renovation as well, offering enhanced facilities year-round to our youngest visitors, summer campers, and guests of all ages. The renovation will offer expanded restroom facilities as well as a new meeting room created from back-of-house spaces, and a new garden gift shop will complement the building’s offerings.
Finally, the former garage—which has been used as a gallery in recent decades—will open later this summer as the Cheekwood Café, serving light fare such as soups, salads, and sandwiches, including picnic lunches. This space will also feature the story of Maxwell House coffee, the family company that the Cheeks invested in and profited from, which allowed for Cheekwood to be built. The new Cheekwood Café will offer an improved connection to the Mansion for our visitors’ ease and will be a wonderful asset to the future Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden. We will be breaking ground on this new special destination in early June, and it is expected to open in Summer 2019.
The Frist Learning Center’s exciting renovation and accompanying enhancements are made possible by a very generous $4 million gift from The Frist Foundation to The Cheekwood Campaign, our first major fundraising initiative in nearly 20 years. While the heart of the campaign is focused on building endowment and capital reserves and restoring expansive property, these accompanying initiatives are bringing Cheekwood to a new level. With over $22 million pledged toward our $30 million goal, we are in the home stretch, but we still have a long way to go! If you are interested in learning more, please email [email protected].Renovation of The Frist Learning Center began before the holiday season, and it has been a fascinating journey in progress. The former Cheek family stables and garage, as well as the Great Hall, will benefit from copper gutters and downspouts, windows, tile, paint, and repairs, but it will also see a renaissance of these historic buildings.
Following the historic restoration of the Mansion that debuted last year, the former stables are being brought back to life as we restore the original horse stalls and tack room and create a new equestrian interpretation area highlighting the building’s previous use. After removing the modern drywall within the stalls, the intact and original wainscoting, period hardware and windows were discovered. These daily discoveries are the very definition of peeling away the past.