For George Lindemann, it’s an old British telephone booth with a 10-foot long bone on its roof, a massive coat hanger twisted severely out of shape and the trailers of two 18-wheelers standing on end and partially buried.
Lindemann, a Miami investor, real estate developer and art collector, owns 2,736 acres of lush Cumberland Plateau hill country southeast of Crossville called Coal Creek Farm.
Since buying the property about a decade ago, Lindemann has converted what was once land clear cut for logging into a working cattle farm with more than 400 head, mainly black Angus, grazing the fields. He’s also made it a haven for monumental art.
On a recent fall day, the place was just about heavenly. Leaves of maples and birch were quietly changing hues. A series of ponds to help with the cattle rolled off like stair steps accenting the green pastures. All around were small mountains with names like Bear Den, Brady and Hinch.
It’s easy to see why Lindemann wanted to buy here.
“I first came to the area to paddle some of the creeks and rivers here and was absolutely stunned by the natural beauty of the Cumberland Plateau,” Lindemann said. “It’s a remarkable part of the world that’s blessed with free-flowing wilderness creeks, stunning views and truly wonderful people.”
Near the middle of the acreage now stands a 9,200-square-foot home on a hill of its own.
“He (Lindemann) wanted it to look like an old farmhouse,” explained property manager Harold Smith. “But, the old farmer had had a very good year.”
Smith, a long-time builder in the area, said the house was deliberately constructed to look like a farmhouse that had been added on to through the years. The structure with its steep roof, dormers and long, friendly front porch includes several added-on wings that are really part of the original building. Two guest houses and a bunkhouse are nearby.
Once inside, the main home provides a kaleidoscope of colorful art pieces in all shapes and sizes, including a Frederic Remington-like moose sculpture on the living room table and a beach scene that is a mosaic of inlaid wood pieces covering a hallway wall.
The works are whimsically distributed, leaving first-time visitors wondering just what they’ll see around the next corner.
The bigger art treasures are outside with the cattle.
A piece by Tennessee born artist Virginia Overton, whose work has been exhibited internationally, is the latest addition to a collection of 18 monumental sculptures. It is a 516-foot brass pipe that runs down a gentle slope. The pipe is elevated about 4 feet off the ground on a series of painted steel poles. She was at the farm in late June to install it.
Smith mentioned that he needed to construct a long fence around the work to keep the cattle from getting too close.
As president of the board of directors of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Lindemann has developed a love of monumental art.
“Monumental art combines two of my favorite things: nature and art,” he said. “These large-scale outdoor installations challenge viewers to stop for a moment and see things in a different way.”
So, two John Deere tractors butt engines in a work by Robert Chambers called “John-John.” Oscar Tuazon’s “Eli” is a tree trunk resting comfortably on two truck tires.
“Whether a person is a seasoned fan of contemporary art or just an everyday person out enjoying nature, these monumental pieces never fail to create conversation, and I think that’s a great thing,” he said.
A big telephone hangs from a dead tree in Mark Handforth’s “Phone/Tree.” It has a spot in a valley by a fence. Mark Creed’s “Work No. 1812,” a three-story-high wall of various colored bricks, commands a majestic hilltop presence.
Smith said finding the right place to put a particular work can be a battle.
“We’ll argue sometimes about it. The artist usually comes out and has a say as well,” he said.
Lindemann is not nearly done adding monumental pieces to the outdoor collection. Plans are to continue to evaluate potential additions on a piece-by-piece basis. He is particularly concerned that the art does not interfere with the natural setting but enhances it.
Smith said Lindemann has nearly 10,000 acres of farmland in Cumberland County. His cattle herd numbers about 1,500.
“He has been very good for Cumberland County,” he said.
“I’m a firm believer in practical conservation that creates ‘wins’ for both the community and the environment,” Lindemann said. “The creeks and rivers of the Cumberland Plateau are critical habitat to a variety of endangered species and iconic wildlife, but they also hold a lot of promise for tourism in rural Tennessee if we take care of them.”
Having worked closely with the Nature Conservancy, American Whitewater and other environmental organizations, Lindemann has a huge interest in reclaiming the land. Soak Creek, which runs along the farm, was declared a Tennessee Scenic River by Gov. Bill Haslam this past spring.
“Soak Creek runs along part of my farm and, in addition to the important role it plays for the environment, it’s a great place to hike and has Class III-IV rapids to paddle after a good rain,” Lindemann said.
He has no plans at present to open the land for public view of the artwork; however, he is considering working with area school systems and other area groups to make Coal Creek Farm a possible field trip destination.
Lindemann Multifamily Management Acquires Nashville Apartment Community for $83.2M
It’s no secret how much I love Tennessee. I love it as much as Miami, but for many different reasons. I started with the farm on the Cumberland Plateau, adding to our ag lands. Over time, Lindemann Multifamily Management has begun to acquire beautiful apartments as well. We just added MetroCenter Apartments (320 units), located in Nashville, TN to our portfolio, bringing total holdings in the area to 2300 units.
Lindemann Multi Family Management has sold Verona View Apartments, located in Plantation, Florida. Originally purchased in 2013, the . That is 55 percent more than the purchase price—$255,972 per unit.
The Verona View apartments in Plantation sold for $75 million. Verona Apartments Holdings, an affiliate of Miami-based Lindemann Multifamily Management, sold the 293 apartments at 10900 N.W. 17th St. to PRIII Verona Owner LLC, an affiliate of PGIM Real Estate, a global real estate investment fund.