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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:

tomleeoriginal.thumb.JPG.8c0e14e4a23a047e71aa35c293873beb.JPG

Edited by VSRJ
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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: Comm

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

Tom Lee Park, bluff walk update....

Posted Images

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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  • 3 weeks later...

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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  • 1 month later...

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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  • 6 months later...
On 10/26/2020 at 11:44 AM, VSRJ said:

^ 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...

I have said it elsewhere and maybe here... Mud Island needs to be Memphis' version of Tivoli in Copenhagen. It has several of the elements in place already with the River Museum and River Walk. Add a Mississippi River inspired Disney'esque Soarin' flying theater to an updated Museum,  add an Aquarium on the southern end, land bridge to Beale Street Landing, update the AMP and add an architecturally significant cover that doesn't interfere with the skyline sight lines, add more botanical features along the River Walk to "garden" it up and rides on the north end, create a longer season with a European style Christmas market, lights and temp features like an ice rink. It would zero in, along with the zoo as an excellent extended weekend getaway for families.

 

I'm open to questions on design elements and ride selections. 

Edited by Wayward Memphian
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1 hour ago, Wayward Memphian said:

I have said it elsewhere and maybe here... Mud Island needs to be Memphis' version of Tivoli in Copenhagen. It has several of the elements in place already with the River Museum and River Walk. Add a Mississippi River inspired Disney'esque Soarin' flying theater to an updated Museum,  add an Aquarium on the southern end, land bridge to Beale Street Landing, update the AMP and add an architecturally significant cover that doesn't interfere with the skyline sight lines, add more botanical features along the River Walk to "garden" it up and rides on the north end, create a longer season with a European style Christmas market, lights and temp features like an ice rink. It would zero in, along with the zoo as an excellent extended weekend getaway for families.

 

I'm open to questions on design elements and ride selections. 

Also, a Ferris Wheel and a 600 ft tower to be our version of the Space Needle/Tower of the Americas.  Since we have a Pyramid, it could be modeled after the Lighthouse of Alexandria.  

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1 hour ago, MDC26 said:

Also, a Ferris Wheel and a 600 ft tower to be our version of the Space Needle/Tower of the Americas.  Since we have a Pyramid, it could be modeled after the Lighthouse of Alexandria.  

Didn't look up Tivoli Copenhagen did ya. 

With Mud Island , space is a premium so vertical is a necessity. Growthbinto the park would be slow. My first ride would be a Star Flyer. The sweeping views of the River, Bridges,  Pyramid and Sky line would be stunning day and night, and you can get them at 600ft.   I've been on this one at Tivoli. I would like to have a wheel as well but space. They do make hubless ones and maybe a coast could pass through. I'd go for enclosed gondolas to extend the season to year round. How about incorporating one in a third Bridge, lol.

 

Screenshot_20210623-191149_Google.jpg

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18 hours ago, Wayward Memphian said:

Didn't look up Tivoli Copenhagen did ya. 

With Mud Island , space is a premium so vertical is a necessity. Growthbinto the park would be slow. My first ride would be a Star Flyer. The sweeping views of the River, Bridges,  Pyramid and Sky line would be stunning day and night, and you can get them at 600ft.   I've been on this one at Tivoli. I would like to have a wheel as well but space. They do make hubless ones and maybe a coast could pass through. I'd go for enclosed gondolas to extend the season to year round. How about incorporating one in a third Bridge, lol.

 

Screenshot_20210623-191149_Google.jpg

That or like the Navy Pier in Chicago. That would help tourism and family entertainment

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1 hour ago, TheKernel91 said:

That or like the Navy Pier in Chicago. That would help tourism and family entertainment

The Star Flyer would be my first 'show stopper' It can 'draw' on it's own like a giant observation wheel does.  I would also include an indoor hall complete with  a half dozen kiddie rides. This structure would be at least two levels and have 'birthday' rooms for rent along with a cafe. The rides would have a basic but unified design  theme that envies like late 1800s ornamental ironwork of the the Steamboat era with a whimsical steampunk touch. They would be a unified color scheme with Gold as the trim color. As the pak expansion it's offering. You maximize your space and I have seen this done at Tivoli. You build a ride on top of a ride. The bottom would be your bumper car like attraction while you build a structure above to host your typical Dumbo- esque Spinner.  Your Food stands, bathrooms, and shops would be underneath coaster tracks.  You design rides to share the same footprint like a log flume mixed with a coaster or a junior coast mixed witha high thrill coaster. I have seen this at Phantasialand in Germany.  Last coaster design is insane these days. I can get a coaster that has a launch, forward and backward cars and the next train the cars would spin.  Example:

 

There's so much out there that can maximize a small foodprint and can be design to not feel crammed. I think about Coney Island in New York. Zamperla rides runs most of that park under contract. They supply the rides as they showcase the rides they manufacture as well as manage the park. Mack(see video)produces rides and owns and operates Europa Park  Germany. 

 

Pull the best ideas from

Tivoli

Kemah Boardwalk

Galveston Pleasure Pier

Coney Island

Santa Monica Pier

Morey's Boardwalk

The list goes on and on.

 

Here's Kemah's compact Woody

Screenshot_20210624-145655_Google.jpg

Edited by Wayward Memphian
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On 6/24/2021 at 2:57 PM, Wayward Memphian said:

 

 

The Star Flyer would be my first 'show stopper' It can 'draw' on it's own like a giant observation wheel does.  I would also include an indoor hall complete with  a half dozen kiddie rides. This structure would be at least two levels and have 'birthday' rooms for rent along with a cafe. The rides would have a basic but unified design  theme that envies like late 1800s ornamental ironwork of the the Steamboat era with a whimsical steampunk touch. They would be a unified color scheme with Gold as the trim color. As the pak expansion it's offering. You maximize your space and I have seen this done at Tivoli. You build a ride on top of a ride. The bottom would be your bumper car like attraction while you build a structure above to host your typical Dumbo- esque Spinner.  Your Food stands, bathrooms, and shops would be underneath coaster tracks.  You design rides to share the same footprint like a log flume mixed with a coaster or a junior coast mixed witha high thrill coaster. I have seen this at Phantasialand in Germany.  Last coaster design is insane these days. I can get a coaster that has a launch, forward and backward cars and the next train the cars would spin.  Example:

 

There's so much out there that can maximize a small foodprint and can be design to not feel crammed. I think about Coney Island in New York. Zamperla rides runs most of that park under contract. They supply the rides as they showcase the rides they manufacture as well as manage the park. Mack(see video)produces rides and owns and operates Europa Park  Germany. 

 

Pull the best ideas from

Tivoli

Kemah Boardwalk

Galveston Pleasure Pier

Coney Island

Santa Monica Pier

Morey's Boardwalk

The list goes on and on.

 

Here's Kemah's compact Woody

Screenshot_20210624-145655_Google.jpg

These ideas would be great. Having Pier like development on the river would be the first of its kind. I really wish I knew who we can get to listen go the idea of changing for that kind of development on mud Island 

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22 hours ago, TheKernel91 said:

These ideas would be great. Having Pier like development on the river would be the first of its kind. I really wish I knew who we can get to listen go the idea of changing for that kind of development on mud Island 

Not really a pier, again like Tivoli. You just look at piers to show you how to maximize space. I guess it would be a hybrid of sorts.

 

Here is an example of the theming of the rides I would be going for. This is a newer Zamperla flat ride  would fit nicely witha little more thrilling Zamperla Air Race. An example from the one at Tivoli(notice the eatery under it)

 

Screenshot_20210625-072656_Gallery.jpg

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At this point I'd just like them to get rid of that horrid concrete. They obviously can't drum up a major investment, so a modest sprucing up would be a start.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dirt should be moving soon!

Army Corps gives permit for Tom Lee Park redesign to begin

https://dailymemphian.com/section/metrocity-of-memphis/article/23020/army-corps-gives-permit-for-tom-lee-park-redesign-to-begin

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The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has signed off on the plans for a $60 million redesign of Tom Lee Park.

The federal permit issued Tuesday, July 20, sets the stage for work to begin on the changes in the park once site preparation is completed. 

Demolition work in Tom Lee Park is set to begin Thursday, July 22, after the city’s Riverfront Steering Committee signed the construction documents Monday.

 

 

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