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Jefferson Street scape project in the works

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Interesting news from the north side today as a possible street scape project is in the works for Jefferson St. It would be great to see this area come back to its former grandeur of past years. This will do much to bring the north end into the rest of the city and have a continuous flow from the downtown area that was divided by the interstate many years ago. Here is the story from the Tennessean:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...4/1195/COUNTY01

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Interesting news from the north side today as a possible street scape project is in the works for Jefferson St. It would be great to see this area come back to its former grandeur of past years. This will do much to bring the north end into the rest of the city and have a continuous flow from the downtown area that was divided by the interstate many years ago. Here is the story from the Tennessean:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...4/1195/COUNTY01

Jefferson St. really has a lot of potential if it can be cleaned up. I really want to see more nice urban residential projects line the street that are low to high income and some of the old housing stock around the street should be gentrified to bring the neighborhood back to it's past glory. Jefferson Street and the surrounding area can be improved without pushing away the low income folk who call it home.

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Unfortunately, the definition of gentrification is urban renewal by middle and upper classes often resulting in the removal of the previous lower income residents. I think Jefferson St. is pretty great how it is, not to say aesthetic, street-scape type improvements wouldn't be welcome, but I also think it's not my place to dictate what improvements should be made or what type of housing and retail should be incorporated.

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Any improvement will make life better there. By cleaning up the area, TSU and Fisk can attract better professors who may want to live near campus. I would like TSU to get back it's prominence it once had.

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Maybe we can start by removing/re-routing the interstate which cut off much of the population from its cultural and economic heart.

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Unfortunately, the definition of gentrification is urban renewal by middle and upper classes often resulting in the removal of the previous lower income residents. I think Jefferson St. is pretty great how it is, not to say aesthetic, street-scape type improvements wouldn't be welcome, but I also think it's not my place to dictate what improvements should be made or what type of housing and retail should be incorporated.

I doubt sincerly that Jefferson Street will ever be as "great" as it once was. Two things effectively destroyed it, one, of course, being I-40 being plowed right through the middle of the area... and two was the end of segregation. When Blacks were not forced to have to spend their money, be entertained, or the like in that one bustling area just for them, and could go wherever they pleased, Jeff St. had little reason to exist. For some things, there's no going back.

Gentrification may be the only way to return the street to anything remotely near what it once was, and as it stands, you're not going to be luring wealthier individuals back as it stands now, where it abuts a fairly high crime area.

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I doubt sincerly that Jefferson Street will ever be as "great" as it once was. Two things effectively destroyed it, one, of course, being I-40 being plowed right through the middle of the area... and two was the end of segregation. When Blacks were not forced to have to spend their money, be entertained, or the like in that one bustling area just for them, and could go wherever they pleased, Jeff St. had little reason to exist. For some things, there's no going back.

Gentrification may be the only way to return the street to anything remotely near what it once was, and as it stands, you're not going to be luring wealthier individuals back as it stands now, where it abuts a fairly high crime area.

Word? What do the quotations around the word, great, mean? How does a thriving cultural center cease to have meaning just because the people "could go wherever they pleased?" Where did they go? What replaced Jefferson St. in significance? Isn't the area still largely segregrated?

Replacing the inhabitants of North Nashville with white hipsters is not a recipe for returning Jefferson street to greatness. Nor does it need "cleaning up." I think a substantial amount of reinvestment is occurring there already; with a new financial and medical center, loft style residential, and a 2 story somewhat urban sensitive retail development on the corner of DB Todd and Jefferson. It's a pretty vibrant place from what i've seen with a variety of businessess and restaurants, along with hella numerous barbershops and salons, and a crazy nightlife with Fisk and TSU students converging on the strip en masse on the weekend.

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Word? What do the quotations around the word, great, mean? How does a thriving cultural center cease to have meaning just because the people "could go wherever they pleased?" Where did they go? What replaced Jefferson St. in significance? Isn't the area still largely segregrated? Replacing the inhabitants of North Nashville with white hipsters is not a recipe for returning Jefferson street to greatness. Nor does it need "cleaning up." I think a substantial amount of reinvestment is occurring there already; with a new financial and medical center, loft style residential, and a 2 story somewhat urban sensitive retail development on the corner of DB Todd and Jefferson. It's a pretty vibrant place from what i've seen with a variety of businessess and restaurants, along with hella numerous barbershops and salons, and a crazy nightlife with Fisk and TSU students converging on the strip en masse on the weekend.

I put quotations to merely emphasize the word. As for where the people went, as a premiere commercial and entertainment center of the Black community prior to the '60s, afterwards, they could go wherever they pleased (nothing needed to "rise up" in its place, since had racial segregation never occurred, places like Jefferson Street would never come to exist in the first place). Since my father worked at nearby Meharry for 30 years, I used to frequently go by it in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and it always seemed such a forlorn and depressing place. I understand it is probably a bit better there today than it was, though nowhere near what it once used to be (which is why I said I doubted it ever would be as "great" as it once was -- perhaps a similar statement could be made regarding Beale Street in Memphis, which was once the mecca of Black culture in that city, but now is more a "facade" for the sake of the tourists seeking a taste of the authenticity).

I also never mentioned replacing its current inhabitants with White people, I said luring "wealthy" or upper middle class people, and there are, contrary to public opinion, quite a number of non-Whites who actually do well. Many of them, however, seem more interested in moving out to other neighborhoods with lower crime rates than they do moving to areas along Jefferson Street, the kind of place many would prefer to get away from. Of course, if more and more businesses do locate there and flourish, and the crime situation is gotten under control, with the right developments, you might get the more desireable residents back in. I am always for revitalization.

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It is pretty obvious that everybody is holding the Renaissance of Jefferson Street in a different light than they do other bits of the city which are in transition because it is a center of Black culture, and good nice educated artistic people don't want to seem like they are rooting for a massive rehaul that would totally change the economic and social sinew running through the heart of a Minority Area. Well, my good nice educated artisitic people need not worry--this is not "Urban Renewal." This time, there is not a panel of machine-obsessed cracker beureaucrats forcing an Interstate on Jefferson Street...this time, the desire for change comes from within. And why shouldn't it? Are American Black people only comfortable in an indigenous environment of blight and garbage? These people want their neighborhood to become more beautiful and human-scaled. Isn't that the trend across the entire city, and indeed throughout the nation?

I will confess that I believe sensitivity in itself not to be a bad thing. Everyone needs a little lovin', sometimes. But I lament the way in which these sweetness gestures are translating into hopes that Jefferson Street will just be left alone--or be lined with "semi-urban" buildings that would represent a tentative half-assed step away from the current ugliness and forward/backward towards a progressive/nostalgic view of Jefferson Street. "Somewhat-urban" usually translates into "sub-urban", and this struck me as particularly odd--just like Marx argued that modern economic systems must become industrialized before they can successfully make the transition into a communist utopia, are we arguing that neighborhoods must endure the shame and agony of suburbanization before they can blossom into a rejuvenated urban human scale? What sort of thinking leads to the notion that Jefferson Street should be lined with anything less than lovely shops and apartments, four to five stories tall in accordance with the width of the street, with street trees and wide sidewalks?

I am heartened by the news that the city is working with the residents of North Nashville to help further the cause of creating a dignified, gorgeous, and vibrant place where pedestrians are enobled and the local community's history and future are properly nurtured. The fashion in which the entire neighborhood was frankly raped by the Interstate System was and remains a badge of shame on the city. And while FieldMarshall raised a point of great consequence when he argues that the area was largely bailed on after desegregation (which naturally places its decline in a slightly different light), I believe that the historical record truly shows that the area was utterly kneecapped by European Modernist Urban Rewenal schemes. The area was not inherently inferior for any reasons of topography or location. It was abandoned en masse because it had its ankles removed by a Le Corbusier-style crowbar, and because its population (what with being human beings and all) were subject to the same ridiculous notions of a car-centered existance that the rest of Nashville was. In fact, much of the areas' thug-worshipping youth are still obsessed with the idea that the mobile car, rather than the grown-up home, is the highest venue for self-expression. Lets build some sidewalks and plug them in so that the opposing side can finally put a damn foot down.

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It is pretty obvious that everybody is holding the Renaissance of Jefferson Street in a different light than they do other bits of the city which are in transition because it is a center of Black culture, and good nice educated artistic people don't want to seem like they are rooting for a massive rehaul that would totally change the economic and social sinew running through the heart of a Minority Area. Well, my good nice educated artisitic people need not worry--this is not "Urban Renewal." This time, there is not a panel of machine-obsessed cracker beureaucrats forcing an Interstate on Jefferson Street...this time, the desire for change comes from within. And why shouldn't it? Are American Black people only comfortable in an indigenous environment of blight and garbage? These people want their neighborhood to become more beautiful and human-scaled. Isn't that the trend across the entire city, and indeed throughout the nation?

I will confess that I believe sensitivity in itself not to be a bad thing. Everyone needs a little lovin', sometimes. But I lament the way in which these sweetness gestures are translating into hopes that Jefferson Street will just be left alone--or be lined with "semi-urban" buildings that would represent a tentative half-assed step away from the current ugliness and forward/backward towards a progressive/nostalgic view of Jefferson Street. "Somewhat-urban" usually translates into "sub-urban", and this struck me as particularly odd--just like Marx argued that modern economic systems must become industrialized before they can successfully make the transition into a communist utopia, are we arguing that neighborhoods must endure the shame and agony of suburbanization before they can blossom into a rejuvenated urban human scale? What sort of thinking leads to the notion that Jefferson Street should be lined with anything less than lovely shops and apartments, four to five stories tall in accordance with the width of the street, with street trees and wide sidewalks?

I am heartened by the news that the city is working with the residents of North Nashville to help further the cause of creating a dignified, gorgeous, and vibrant place where pedestrians are enobled and the local community's history and future are properly nurtured. The fashion in which the entire neighborhood was frankly raped by the Interstate System was and remains a badge of shame on the city. And while FieldMarshall raised a point of great consequence when he argues that the area was largely bailed on after desegregation (which naturally places its decline in a slightly different light), I believe that the historical record truly shows that the area was utterly kneecapped by European Modernist Urban Rewenal schemes. The area was not inherently inferior for any reasons of topography or location. It was abandoned en masse because it had its ankles removed by a Le Corbusier-style crowbar, and because its population (what with being human beings and all) were subject to the same ridiculous notions of a car-centered existance that the rest of Nashville was. In fact, much of the areas' thug-worshipping youth are still obsessed with the idea that the mobile car, rather than the grown-up home, is the highest venue for self-expression. Lets build some sidewalks and plug them in so that the opposing side can finally put a damn foot down.

I'm not advocating any sort of building type. My use of the phrase somewhat urban was merely an attempt to describe an existing structure.

Did you use the term "cracker?" That's awesome!

I'm glad to finally find out that you don't believe sensitivity is a bad thing.

I'm confused by the final two sentences of your post, NT. Are you saying that thugs express themselves most fully while in their cars? The grown-up home is the highest venue for self-expression? What does that mean? What ideology is this? Sidewalks where? Jefferson St. has sidewalks. What opposing side? These questions are not sarcastic. I sincerely wish for clarification if you would indulge me.

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Living 2 blocks from Jefferson St, I can say I welcome any major projects or redevelopements on the street. It needs the attention and support of more major developers. Thankfully, metro officially approved the Jefferson St redevelopment district [Jefferson from 12th Ave eastward is covered in the Phillips/Jackson redev district], which hopefully will spur more projects with TIF money.

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I'm confused by the final two sentences of your post, NT. Are you saying that thugs express themselves most fully while in their cars? The grown-up home is the highest venue for self-expression? What does that mean? What ideology is this? Sidewalks where? Jefferson St. has sidewalks. What opposing side? These questions are not sarcastic. I sincerely wish for clarification if you would indulge me.

I think what NT is saying, and forgive me for such crudities, that they need to stop pimping their rides and start pimping their cribs. :blink:

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I'm not advocating any sort of building type. My use of the phrase somewhat urban was merely an attempt to describe an existing structure.

Did you use the term "cracker?" That's awesome!

I'm glad to finally find out that you don't believe sensitivity is a bad thing.

I'm confused by the final two sentences of your post, NT. Are you saying that thugs express themselves most fully while in their cars? The grown-up home is the highest venue for self-expression? What does that mean? What ideology is this? Sidewalks where? Jefferson St. has sidewalks. What opposing side? These questions are not sarcastic. I sincerely wish for clarification if you would indulge me.

I confess that some passages in my last post were a bit abstract. I will try to indulge you.

Anyone familiar with Pop Culture knows that the Ghetto Fabulous thug-life is very automobile centric. Millions of dollars, a lot of it very hard-earned, are sunk nationwide into the conspicuous display of rapidly depreciating automotive wealth--with all the glitz and glam of mid-18th century Versailles nobility, made loud and getaway-friendly thanks to the combustion engine. It is not a racial phenomenon per se, but in a culture which has historically been barred from owning good homes, and has historically not been blessed with a very family-friendly social scheme thanks to endless oppression/humiliation, we should not be surprised to find a pretty backwards obsession with Platinum Rims successfully competing with the more dignified legacies of paternal and maternal long-term sustainable wealth. Like wealth represented by houses and flats for grown-ups, for example.

In short, good homes are wealth. Cars are mere money, and only temporarily so. Black people were prevented from achieving wealth by white people for a long time. Now that freedoms have expanded, and at no small cost, neighborhood design should reflect the wider options available to Black folks. Most of Nashville is car-centric. Let's assist Jefferson Street residents in their efforts to make their neighborhood friendlier to the pedestrian, if for no other reason than to help enable a free-market creation of a walkable district worthy of respect and affection. Real wealth is very difficult to create in a place which is not intrinsically worth respect and affection.

I suggested that we create sidewalks and plug them in, meaning that I humbly suggest that the sidewalks on Jefferson Street should lead from shop to shop, in other words to actual places in close proximity to one another. Mary's Bar-B-Que will never perish on my watch. But it should be in a better building, right on the sidewalk, next to other businesses, with apartments above, and tables out in front under the street trees. Let the Parisians gasp with envy at Jefferson Street. Striving for anything less would be insulting.

The "opposing side" was an unecessarily obtuse reference to the countless grown-ups on Jefferson Street who want to create wealth, live happy and productive lives, provide safety and security for their children, and express themselves and their priorities through the fashioning of beautiful things like art and architecture. Currently, the neighborhood is designed for a car culture, which is easily dominated by motorists, many of whom who could not care one pink feather less for family life, Truth, or Beauty, but cannot be competed with thanks to the visual squalor and strungout strips of the here-and-now, and consequently the concievable future.

I'm glad to finally find out that you don't believe sensitivity is a bad thing.

I perpetually demand sensitive architecture. That's all I bleedin' do, all day long. I am not always sensitive about the process, but hopefully my hedghogier moments are funnier than they are offensive, at least most of the time.

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There is a lot happening on Jefferson St.

1. 942 Jefferson Street Mixed-use Building

2. Hope Gardens

3. Recently Constructed Hadley Park Community Center

4. Mathew Walker Healthcare Clinic

5. Fisk University Improvements (Jubilee Hall being one of the most prominent)

6. Otey's Plaza

Has anyone heard about the progress of the African American Museum on Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Mall?

Meetings to discuss African American museum continue

African-American museum gets land

The NNCDC Master Plan for the area can be found at the North Nashville CDC.

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In regards to gentrification, I think it often contains a racial component. However, any group without ties to a neighborhood displacing long time residents would be lamentable.

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In regards to gentrification, I think it often contains a racial component. However, any group without ties to a neighborhood displacing long time residents would be lamentable.

Property Tax reform is the only way to stop "gentrification," which is such an abstract and unspecific word that it is not very helpful--sort of like the words "empire" or "modern." Poor people in contemporary American society are only forced out of their neighborhoods by a) government seizure of their property, b) murder and rampage, and c) property tax increases. These are manageable issues, to say the least, but most people somehow blame investment and improvement as the culprits of "gentrification," as if cleaning up a neighborhood that has fallen on hard times is insensitive and racist, like forcing Oscar the Grouch to polish his Trash Can and remove the rotten banana peels--and thus forcing him to act in opposition to his own inherent nature. Poor people are not usually "grouches," and they don't like mold, stray syringes, or tuberculosis anymore than suburban Susie Petal. Gentrification, whatever that means, is a good thing and must happen if we don't want to become like Moldova. We just need a little property tax reform, especially to protect retired people who are on fixed incomes.

The way people talk about "gentrification," one would think that the landed gentry was storming slums with pitchforks and flamethrowers and driving the poor into the sea. That is simply not the case.

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Whew, I was actually under the impression that the landed gentry was taking over North Nashville. This post coming from the king of abstraction and sweeping generalizations. There is nothing abstract about the term gentrification or empire for that matter, at least in so far as any concept is abstracted by the limitations of language. No one is against cleaning up the street scape and the addition of aesthetic improvements in the way of signage, paving, whatever. Encouraging additional development in the way that is portrayed in the Tennessean article, spurred on by local business owners and community leaders, is certainly a positive change. Gentrification does entail a gradual take over of an area. And it doesn't solve any of the problems that plagued the area to begin with. It just displaces and further marginalizes them.

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Nashvillain, relax. I'm on your side. Why can't Americans debate without getting all emotional and stuff?

Whew, I was actually under the impression that the landed gentry was taking over North Nashville. This post coming from the king of abstraction and sweeping generalizations.

That hurt my feelings, but only a little bit. :w00t:

There is nothing abstract about the term gentrification or empire for that matter, at least in so far as any concept is abstracted by the limitations of language.

Is the United States an "empire"? Why or why not? Does Coca-Cola have an empire? How about the Australians? What is gentrification, exactly? When did it start? How is it different from, say, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria? If it is bad, is the opposite phenomenon--let's call it de-gentrification, for the sake of additional confusion and abstraction--consequently desirable? Work with me here!

No one is against cleaning up the street scape and the addition of aesthetic improvements in the way of signage, paving, whatever.

Why, that's wonderful news! But wrong! There are lots of people who would happily argue against this sort of mission, and "gentrification" is among the most oft-cited reasons! But let's take note that I never said anyone here at Urban Planet is counted as a Jefferson Street Improvement Dissenter, despite the fact that some of the position's rhetoric has been deployed! Maybe I should include more of these to help get across my good nature and sense of adventure: :lol::lol::lol:

Gentrification does entail a gradual take over of an area. And it doesn't solve any of the problems that plagued the area to begin with. It just displaces and further marginalizes them.

What are you talking about? From the sounds of it, people are being forcefully expelled from their homes as part of a "take over" by armed banditos, casting the hapless and voteless out into the prairie with nothing but margarine to spread on their Iron Kids. Is this a fair depiction of the actual doings and sayings of the folks who are moving back into the city?

And how on earth does this fail to "solve any of the problems that plagued the area to begin with"? You don't think a massive influx of people whose lowest expectations for sociable behavior are higher than the local variety will improve a troubled area? What if they have guns? Poor people should arguably protected from unmanagable property tax increases, but should they be protected from conversations with doctors and marketing consultants? Is it the tax hikes, or the boring discourse about Edinburgh vs. Glasgow: Which is a Livelier City? which displaces and marginalizes them? Let's be specific, for fun.

This post coming from the king of abstraction and sweeping generalizations.

That's my sentiment about this particular debate, exactly! Kisses!

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I agree that the problems with gentrification are mostly related to the tax code. It is seems odd that you would not want an area to improve along with its property values. Many of the inner city areas hardest hit with the migration to the suburbs also had the equity sucked out their homes which is for most Americans where most of their wealth is wrapped up. I can not imagine how many billions of dollars were lost. It seems returning some of the value once lost is a good thing.

Here is an interesting Brookings Institute Paper covering the issue: Dealing With Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices

They outline three stages of gentrification and state that the most prominent cause is a tight housing market.

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Of all the concerns identified, improving the housing stock is the most critical need for immediate action. North Nashville is in desperate need of more owner-occupied households in order to stabilize the housing market. A sustained trend of losing households goes hand in hand with the decline of North Nashville

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You know in Chattanooga there is a small amphitheater under one of the bridges next to the river. It really neat how they have done that. I would bet that Hankster could even get a photo of it. Hint Hint

It would be an interesting concept. But I should have said a virtual jazz club.

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