Case Studies

Transforming downtown, one building at a time

The Derry Down

297 Fifth Street NW, Winter Haven

For years, Six/Ten owned and used this dilapidated building as a storage shed—unaware of it’s original purpose.

It wasn’t until author Bob Kealing discussed the Derry Down in his biography, Calling Me Home, Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock, that Six/Ten realized it was in possession of a cultural landmark, the birthplace of “cosmic American” music. Established by Parson’s stepfather, Parsons started performing there and the site was an integral part of the Central Florida teen circuit that supported up-and-coming Polk talent like Jim Carlton, the indomitable Jim Stafford, Carl Chambers and Jon Corneal, among others.

As part of its efforts to reanimate downtown Winter Haven, Six/Ten donated the Derry Down to the Main Street organization to carry out the building’s historical restoration. Once complete, the Derry Down will be a venue dedicated to giving a new generation of aspiring musicians the same opportunity to gain experience performing in front of a live audience. Both Main Street and Six/Ten are excited for the significant cultural tourism opportunities the Derry Down promises to bring downtown.