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cityboi

Greensboro's Downtown Greenway Loop

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im not sure. I want to say the 1930s

Would've been at least the 1940s, because my mom rode the streetcars as a teenager. That's about the time most of them were replaced with buses nationwide too.

FYI, because they were electric and used overhead wires, the streetcars here were owned and operated by Duke Power, as they were in many cities, which is why Greensboro had Duke Power buses for years afterward until the city finally agreed to take over the system in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Duke was contractually obligated to continue running the system for years after it had ceased to be profitable for them.

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It looks like a larger-than-life statue of Revolutionary War Gen. Nathanael Greene will be planned for downtown during the bicentennial (Greensboro's namesake). Ive wondered for years why we dont have a statue of him downtown. We have one at the Guilford Courthouse military park in Northwest Greensboro which has become a landmark for the city. We do have a statue of O'Henry downtown. The location of the General Greene statue hasnt been determined but in the middle of the roundabout at McGee and Greene Street has been mentioned. That would be perfect because It would be located on the street named after him and something is needed in the center of that roundabout. Ive always thought a statue or a water fountain out to go there. Id like to see a statue/fountain. This is also the same intersection where a 5-story office building with a Mellow Mushroom is being planned.

http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...EC0101/70214049

roundabout1.jpg

roundabout2.jpg

roundabout3.jpg

picture of General Greene (one interesting fact Greensboro and Greenville, SC is named for General Greene.)

greene_nathanael.jpg

here is a list of all the places named for General Greene:

Fort Greene Ville (Ohio)

Greene County, Alabama

Greene County, Arkansas

Greene County, Georgia

Greene County, Illinois

Greene County, Indiana

Greene County, Iowa

Greene County, Mississippi

Greene County, Missouri

Greene County, New York

Greene County, North Carolina

Greene County, Ohio

Greene County, Pennsylvania

Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Greene County, Tennessee

Greene County, Virginia

Greene Hall, State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, New York

Greensboro, Georgia

Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensville County, Virginia (possibly; there are other claimed origins)

Greenville, Mississippi

Greenville, North Carolina

Greenville, Ohio

Greenville, Rhode Island

Greenville, South Carolina

Greeneville, Tennessee

Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, New York

Edited by cityboi

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I did a little quick photo shop edit. I want to email this to the commission to give them a few ideas what the statue could look like when incorporated with a fountain.

greene.jpg

Edited by cityboi

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I did a little quick photo shop edit. I want to email this to the commission to give them a few ideas what the statue could look like when incorporated with a fountain.

greene.jpg

I think that it would look better in the roudabout with just a giant pillar. The fountain would take away from the face of the statue. Nevertheless, cool history lesson.

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Its going to be an improvement what ever they do. I just love fountains though. I would like to see a good number of water fountains throughout downtown. There is something about water features that just makes it a great environment.

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good news for downtown....I attended Action Greensboro's groundbreakers meeting and it was highlighted that construction would likely start on the first leg of the downtown Greenway loop next year in time for the city's 200th birthday. It will be the first and only greenway that loops around a downtown in this state.

Edited by cityboi

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Have any renderings, etc. of this? Hadn't heard of it. GSO already has great greenways and city parks/gardens, and is one thing that I think will help sustain constant long term growth.

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Have any renderings, etc. of this? Hadn't heard of it. GSO already has great greenways and city parks/gardens, and is one thing that I think will help sustain constant long term growth.

Part of the greenway will have outdoor classrooms which will also border Greensboro College. The proposal on Murrow Boulevard is to reduce the existing traffic lanes from six to four, converting two of the lanes into a trail. The trail would be planted with 1,960 trees in recognition of February 1, 1960 when four young men walked from NCA&T to Woolworth's to start the Sit-in Movement. Also, bulbs would be planted so that every February 1, the area would be in full bloom. There will be sign markers along the Greenway which tells you when you are entering a particular downtown neighborhood or district. For example, there will be a large sign that says "Southside" when you enter the Southside Neighborhood or "Morehead" when you enter the Morehead district. Townhomes, retail and cafes will be built along the greenway on the southern end.

The Greenway would include:

- water features (ponds & fountians)

- biking trail

- public pavillion

- tennis courts

- multi-purpose sports building

- jr olympic outdoor pool

- several mini parks along the greenway

- garden maze

- play lawns for children

- places for art displays

- and a number of other recreational attractions for downtown residents.

Its going to be more than just a green trail. This is a pretty ambitous and unique greenway planned for the center-city. Its the best greenway plan ive ever seen.

here is a map that shows what all will be incorporated in the greenway.

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...workdiagram.pdf

here are some sketches

(one mile entry)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/1mileentry.pdf

(two mile mid upper)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...ilemidupper.pdf

(three mile middle)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...3milemiddle.pdf

(five mile bottom)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...5milebottom.pdf

(concept diagrams)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...tsyDiagrams.pdf

(Market Street)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/AXON.pdf

(signage possibilties)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/EGDboard10.pdf

(Fisher Section)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/fishersec.pdf

(magic section)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/magicsec.pdf

(Edward R Murrow Blvd)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/murrowblvd.pdf

(Murrow Section)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/ppt/murrowsec.pdf

(outdoor classroom)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...orClassroom.pdf

(site furnishings)

http://www.actiongreensboro.org/documents/...nishings%20.pdf

Edited by cityboi

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Just to play devil's advocate; Murrow Blvd is clearly underused now, but should the Triumph project come to be, might we not potentially miss the two lanes being sought for the greenway?

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Just to play devil's advocate; Murrow Blvd is clearly underused now, but should the Triumph project come to be, might we not potentially miss the two lanes being sought for the greenway?

You do bring up a good point. I think one reason why the secret project is being considered for the duke power site area is because of its access to Murrow Blvd which would help alleviate traffic downtown. I think the greenway should be more narrow compared to the other sections so we dont close too many lanes but I think it will likely go from 6 lanes to 4. One thing most people havent realized is that the Duke Power site and the city owned tract of land thats being considered for this project is directly adjacent to the railroad tracks. I think there is great potential at some point in the future for a commuter rail stop at the massive tourist/convention development. That may also be another reason why these sites are a favorite location for this development. The greenway would also be adjacent to this project as well on th eother side of the railroad tracks.

You can see where the secret project is being proposed in its relationship to the railroad tracks and the planned Greenway loop along Murrow Blvd to the right.

gsoproject2.jpg

Edited by cityboi

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The News & Record reported that Chandler Concrete is moving to make way for the downtown Greenway loop so this thing seems to be moving forward pretty quick.

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http://downtowngreenway.org/

The path for the 4 mile downtown greenway loop has been approved. Residents who live in downtown Greensboro will enjoy a greenway that has a 4 mile bicycle/walking path along with parks, several recreational and educational activity centers. There has been a change to the origional path. The loop now goes well into Fisher Park near Wendover Ave and through part of Lathem Park. The Greenway will also connect with the city-wide greenway system. Construction on the first leg of the loop will begin this year. Im actually proud of the city leaders who have put this plan together. Its very unique project because there are only a few cities nationwide building downtown greenway loops. Charlotte has a loop greenway on the drawing board for its uptown.

Greenway0208large.jpg

BTW here is a link to the city-wide bicycle/pedestrian path system

http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/G...rian/bipedplan/

Edited by cityboi

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I'm glad to see that the loop traverses through areas south of Lee St. which should accompany revitalization well.

My bone to pick is that there are blighted portions of the city and other things the money set aside for this project should have gone towards instead. I don't see the downtown greenway helping the image of the city too much, other than for bragging rights...? Where is Action Greensboro getting the funds?

My suggestions:

Study of ways to reduce crime and increase safety east of downtown

Railyard Park

South Elm St Revitalization

Small (but important) road construction projects in key areas throughout the city

Incentives for new and existing business/residential/commercial projects in the city core

I could go on and on... lol

http://downtowngreenway.org/

The path for the 4 mile downtown greenway loop has been approved. Residents who live in downtown Greensboro will enjoy a greenway that has a 4 mile bicycle/walking path along with parks, several recreational and educational activity centers. There has been a change to the origional path. The loop now goes well into Fisher Park near Wendover Ave and through part of Lathem Park. The Greenway will also connect with the city-wide greenway system. Construction on the first leg of the loop will begin this year. Im actually proud of the city leaders who have put this plan together. Its very unique project because there are only a few cities nationwide building downtown greenway loops. Charlotte has a loop greenway on the drawing board for its uptown.

Greenway0208large.jpg

BTW here is a link to the city-wide bicycle/pedestrian path system

http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/G...rian/bipedplan/

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I don't see the downtown greenway helping the image of the city too much, other than for bragging rights...?

No city constructs a greenway for image or bragging rights. That goes directly to quality of life (just like the other things you mentioned), and I applaud Greensboro in this endeavor. I also think it's pretty innovative that this is being given as a birthday present to the city.

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There is no doubt there is a saftey concern on the southern leg of the Greenway. The southern leg is very near a few public housing communties that has a crime reputation. A big group of homeless people looking for jobs also loiters nearby at the intersection Eugene and Lee Streets on a daily basis. But I think because of the important nature of the greenway project, the city will step up and address those issue. More police presense is a start but ultimately the land bordering the greenway, as well as Lee Street needs to be redeveloped and the streetscape needs to be improved. The South Elm/Lee Street mixed-use project begins that process. I think we need to go back and look at Southside whenever we think its too hard to change a medium to high crime area around. We all know what Southside use to be and what it is now. That example should be used as a template in solving certain issues around the southern portion of the greenway. Also the greenway could help expand the borders of the central business district.

Edited by cityboi

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Usually, parks and greenways are catalysts for the revitalization of an area, and there are a few examples of that around the country. I'm sure it will be no different in Greensboro.

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Maybe what I said was misunderstood? My comment was just simply to state that there are bigger, more important issues in Greensboro today that I feel should be addressed.

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^I think the city is large enough to multitask. ;) If money were being siphoned off from dedicated funding sources that were specifically going towards solving the problems you previously mentioned, then that would be a problem. Otherwise, we could just as well say that no cities should be building new parks, greenways, riverwalks, open spaces, etc. since all cities wrestle with crime, blight, unemployment, etc. to one extent or the other and that all available funding should go towards those causes.

Now if you're speaking about how this particular project is being prioritized, then I could better see your point.

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the 100 year celebration in 1908 included a new building called the Hippodrome. Its was a downtown arena that could seat 18,000 to 20,000 people. The building had seating much like a modern basketball arena, with a dirt floor and cinder track in the center. The Greensboro Auditorium Co bougt the corrugated iron building from the Jamestown Exposition of 1907. So you could say it was the first downtown arena in the state and probabally even the south. It was sold to Columbia, South Carolina in 1912 and was destroyed by fire in 1966.

http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a.../-1/NEWSREC0201

I found a picture of the Steel Building/Hippodrome after it moved to Columbia.

steel%20bldg%20at%20fairgrounds.jpg

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Thanks for the find! It looked better than I thought. Even though it looks sort of industrial, it looks pretty good for the times. the two corner towers add a nice touch.

BTW here is the interior during the Greensboro 100 year celebration. This was the largest inoor arena south of New York City. The official name was "The Greensboro Auditorium". The structure was located downtown at the corner of Church and Sycamore St (where the News & Record is) and it stayed in Greensboro for 3 years. If Greensboro had kept this building and it survived through the years, it could have been renovated and would have made a great public/farmers market.

The_Hippodrome__a_20_000_seat_arena_in_Greensboro__was_filled_to.jpeg

Edited by cityboi

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