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Westwood (Woodmont Blvd.): A Cheek family house

Following a trend to move to the fashionable west side of Nashville, Robert and Helen Cheek chose to move to the newly developed Woodmont Estates on new Concrete Boulevard.

The estate was west of the Puryear and Hampton farms. In 1915, Robert Stanley Cheek (1878-1967) and Helen Louise Pickslay Cheek (1886-1975) built a yellow brick classic revival style house at 3700 Woodmont BL. The couple wed in 1908. Robert ran the Nashville Maxwell House plant of Cheek-Neal Coffee. His parents were Joel Owsley and Minnie Cheek, brother of Minnie Ritchey Cheek Farrell of Overton Hall/ Crieve Hall, brother of Newman Cheek of Sherwood Forest, brother of John H. Cheek of Braeburn and Oak Hill, and uncle of Leslie Cheek of Cheekwood. Her parents were Joe and Florence Pickslay, a prominent family in New Jersey. She was honored in 1962 by the YMCA and the National Council of Jewish Women as “Outstanding Community Leader.” She was on the board of directors of the Garden Club of America and a founder of the Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Fine Arts Center. She was also a founder of the Children’s Museum (now the Adventure Science Center).

Robert joined his father’s business, Cheek-Neal Coffee Company, in 1900, built and managed the Houston plant, and then returned to Nashville to manage the main plant as vice-president. He retired in 1950. Robert also served on the boards of Nashville Bank & Trust Co., Third National Bank, and National Life & Accident Insurance Co. He was a life member of the Vanderbilt Univ. Board of Trust and was president of the advisory board of the Salvation Army. He attended Christ Church Episcopal and may have wanted to help develop a mission church on the west side: Church of the Advent and St. George’s Church were both founded about the same time.

In 1957, the Cheeks sold the property to the Church of the Advent and moved to Clarendon Ave. in Belle Meade by 1973. The Church of the Advent could not keep up with payments, moved and sold the property to the new Church of the Transfiguration. The Church of the Transfiguration also could not make payments on the property and closed in 1964.

In 1967, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church purchased the property and moved from Charlotte Ave. In 1988, the Westwood house was torn down and a modern one-story building constructed. In 2009 because of differences with the Episcopal Church, St. Andrews became affiliated with the Anglican Church and eventually had to leave the property as it was owned by the Episcopal Church. In 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee moved its headquarters from Metrocenter offices to the property. See also Cheekwood, Oak Hill, Overton Hall/ Crieve Hall, Sherwood Forest

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