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Tom Lee Park redesign

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I think this is a large enough (and controversial enough) development to merit its own thread.

New Tom Lee Park plans include large open spaces, fountain, treetop walkway

Coverage:

Commercial Appeal: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/05/20/tom-lee-park-plans-large-lawns-raised-walkway-groves-trees/5225090002/

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Large, open lawns that can accommodate crowds during Memphis in May. A river grove where trees offer shade over tables and chairs. A sandbar beach, maybe even with umbrellas and beach chairs so you can suntan while looking over the Mississippi River. A raised canopy looping through the trees and tangled landscape by the edge of the water. 

All of those are pieces of the new plan for a reimagined Tom Lee Park — plans that were announced Wednesday.

 

Daily Memphian: https://dailymemphian.com/section/neighborhoodsdowntown/article/14199/new-tom-lee-park-plans-include-sand-bar-beach-hammock-grove

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The new Tom Lee Park concept juxtaposes large open spaces for music festivals and barbecue contests with more intimate everyday settings.

A sand bar beach (maybe?), a hammock grove, a path along the rock-strewn river’s edge, an elevated walkway extending over treetops.

Land forms to break up the flat terrain have been pulled back from the water, toward Riverside Drive, to create new overlooks and nooks for terraced seating, a river-themed playground and backyard grilling.

 

Concept art:

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New concept plan:

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Original plan:

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Edited by VSRJ
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Granted, it's a compromise plan done to satisfy all sides, but I think MRPP's latest concept does a good job at "connecting the dots" along the riverfront better than the original. Now if only there was some actual movement regarding the future of Mud Island.

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18 minutes ago, James Owen said:

Granted, it's a compromise plan done to satisfy all sides, but I think MRPP's latest concept does a good job at "connecting the dots" along the riverfront better than the original. Now if only there was some actual movement regarding the future of Mud Island.

Hopefully that's coming. That land is criminally underutilized. It's so sad.

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I think the new design looks great and will make it a much better year round park.  However, with BSMF and BBQ Fest being the golden children not to be messed with, I'm not sure what impacts it will have on the festivals.  I have a hard time seeing how their capacities won't be reduced.  I wonder if it would be possible to incorporate Mud Island Amphitheater into Beale St Music Fest if the new pedestrian bridge is built to the South end of Mud Island. I would think just using it for the last concert or two each night would help alleviate some congestion and allow for more people.  Could also be a reason to get upgrades to the amphitheater.  

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I can't find any of the new renderings (if there are any), but changes have been made to the design:

'A spectacular new face for our riverfront.' Final Tom Lee Park plans unveiled

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/2020/10/08/tom-lee-park-plans-memphis-river-parks-partnership-mississippi-river/5897057002/

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Final schematic designs for Tom Lee Park renovations, drawn up by architecture firm Studio Gang and landscape architecture firm SCAPE, were revealed in a virtual public meeting Thursday afternoon. The new designs were released in May after negotiations between the Memphis River Parks Partnership and Memphis in May. 

Work is expected to begin before the end of the year with a final buildout completed in early 2023.

 

Memphis River Parks Partnership reveals updated Tom Lee Park plan

https://dailymemphian.com/section/neighborhoodsdowntown/article/17376/memphis-river-parks-partnership-tom-lee-park-design

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A sandbar beach is gone, but riverside decks would provide spaces where people can relax and watch the Mississippi River roll by or children playing on age-appropriate playgrounds.

Visions have been refined for an entry plaza at Tom Lee Park with fountains embedded in the surface and a raised walkway over a collapsed section of river bank. Spots for picnic tables, grills, picnic tables and hammocks have been pinned down.

 

 

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2 hours ago, VSRJ said:

I can't find any of the new renderings (if there are any), but changes have been made to the design:

'A spectacular new face for our riverfront.' Final Tom Lee Park plans unveiled

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/2020/10/08/tom-lee-park-plans-memphis-river-parks-partnership-mississippi-river/5897057002/

Memphis River Parks Partnership reveals updated Tom Lee Park plan

https://dailymemphian.com/section/neighborhoodsdowntown/article/17376/memphis-river-parks-partnership-tom-lee-park-design

 

Looks like there's a Zoom public presentation later this month

https://www.facebook.com/events/3594739497214014

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I agree with your observations, and believe the design is better, but still questioning why Mud Island was not the priority, especially the amphitheater and access. We are going to have a shiny newly renovated Convention Center and Loews Hotel which will be looking at the same dirty concrete structures on Mud Island that characterized the Cook Convention Center prior to the renovation. 

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^ Agreed. Mud Island is criminally underutilized and is a stain on the riverfront. It's insane that there isn't more of a focus on redeveloping and improving it. Perhaps in this decade...

Edited by VSRJ
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Good to see dirt finally moving on this!

Ground broken on $60 million Tom Lee Park updates

https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/money/business/development/2020/12/09/tom-lee-park-redesign-update-ground-broken-timeline/3831779001/

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With speeches, the crunch of a ceremonial shovel being pushed into the dirt and, in true 2020 style, an audience watching on YouTube and Zoom, ground was broken on the long-awaited and long-debated updates to Tom Lee Park Wednesday afternoon.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland ceremonially shoveled the first patch of dirt before proclaiming, “Let’s get to work.” He said the project was a jolt of good news for the city in a year full of sickness, death, financial hardship and social isolation. 

The groundbreaking was held at the Cutbank Bluff, where construction will begin. Work on the other side of Riverside Drive will begin in 2021 and is expected to wrap up in early 2023. Funds for the $60 million park overhaul came from the city, the county and the state as well as donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. 

 

 

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