Tennessee Preparatory School
Anna Russell Cole Auditorium

The auditorium was built using funds donated by Anna Russell Cole, wife of the school’s founder, Edmund W. Cole, and named in her honor. It was dedicated on Sunday, December 11, 1898, almost twelve years to the date after the school began operations, and five months before Edmund Cole died. It underwent major renovations in 1940 and again in 1962. It was in full time use as theatre, church, and conference center for the school from 1898 through May, 1982, when the last high school graduation ceremony was held there. It was added to the Davidson County National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 1980. Randal Cole, the son of Edmund Cole and his first wife, died tragically as Mr. Cole was setting up the school, in 1885, and it was initially named after him in his memory, then changed to Tennessee Industrial School when it began operations in December, 1886, then to Tennessee Preparatory School in January, 1955. The New Orleans Seafood Manor, near the airport and three miles south of the school, occupies the mansion built by the daughter of Edmund and Anna Cole, replacing an original mansion called Colemere, built there in the 1800s by Edmund Cole.

This information is from the manuscript for “Tennessee Industrial School, A Legacy in Jeopardy”

- Bill Harris- TIS TPS Historical Society


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