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Nashvillain

Murfreesboro Civic Square

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I really like the Civic Square in Murfreesboro for some reason so I went to the library to check out some books and nerd out taking pictures of our little public square thing. Granted it's a little barren and its edges are barely activated and due to this it feels a little out of the way and disconnected from the old courthouse main square even though it's only a block away. It's sort of a destination and not really an integral part of the urban fabric, what fabric there is. Its future prognosis is a little bleak because the backside of City Hall is a loading area and the side of the Regions bank building facing the plaza is blank. If Murfreesboro can ever reclaim its urban heritage and bring people back in town--on foot--on anything resembling a consistent basis maybe the buildings along Vine St that run along the main entrance to the plaza can become more active. The city does a good job with free concerts during the summer which are pretty jammed with people and there are a handful of restaurants and retail. There's a proposed condo project slated for a lot around the corner but I don't know what the likelihood is that it will get off the ground at this point.

Anyway, I'll shut up now. Sorry about the large size of these files, I don't have Photoshop on my new computer and I don't have a program that allows resizing photos that I know of at least.

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Looking up Vine St. along the "front" side of the plaza toward the Regions bank tower.

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A little park contained within the hardscape plaza. The pathway leads to a rotunda and stairs leading to the parking garage underneath.

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City Hall framed by some of the weird pyramidal stone elements of the fountain/pool thing.

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The main entrance to the library, a little underwhelming, but clear nonetheless.

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More of that funky fountain and landscaping.

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Suggesting the fractured state of our urban communities maybe? Anyone? Or maybe just rad random broken glass looking stuff.

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At least postmodernism allows for established architectural motifs and details however stripped down they may be. A nice hierarchical rhythm in the size of the openings and the alternating motifs atop them, whatever those things are called.

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This work is didactic enough to be pleasantly self evident but nowhere near as cheesy as those planned for Nashville's civic square. Thanks restraint and understatement.

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No activation here.

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"Sdrow?" I don't know what that means.

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This is the corner of Vine and something or other, opposite the Regions building. There's a fair amount of stuff going on up this street.

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Facing Vine St. directly across from the civic square. Not so much.

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A dance studio.

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A barber college.

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A free clinic.

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I hope that wasn't too painfully boring/uneventful. It's fun to take a closer look at the little unconnected bits and pieces of good urbanity found in our cities and towns and dream about what could be in the future. Or, we can just cut to the chase and move to better cities and towns.

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"Sdrow?" I don't know what that means.

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Words. Nashvillain, you have captured some beautiful pictures. The civic center, while outdated, reflects a few urban characteristics of downtown. The pocket park receives very little use, but that's most likely due to the desolation of the area surrounding the Regions Bank tower. I could see more development around this area in the future once the economy picks up. There have been talks of a new judicial building downtown, does anyone know about that?

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Great photos!  I haven't been to downtown Murfreesboro in YEARS.  There really is so much potential there with the historic building stock, the square, and Tennessee's largest university just a mile or so away.  I just wish the local government would get with the times and stop selling out the entire city to sprawl.

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Great photos!  I haven't been to downtown Murfreesboro in YEARS.  There really is so much potential there with the historic building stock, the square, and Tennessee's largest university just a mile or so away.  I just wish the local government would get with the times and stop selling out the entire city to sprawl.

 

**Largest undergraduate university :)

 

MTSU had 572 more undergrads than UT in the fall of 2012.

UT had 3,398 more grad students than MTSU, though.

 

But yes, Murfreesboro has a lot of potential. The Civic Square and the lone highrise actually show some decent urban design elements. That, along with a good sized (and active) town square, and a much larger grid than most of the other suburbs would lead you to believe that Murfreesboro has a real opportunity to resemble a city more than a suburb...but it seems like they can never really get much headway done there. Franklin is beating Murfreesboro in terms of urban design, and Franklin doesn't have nearly as much to work with as far as bones.

 

Murfreesboro doesn't need skyscrapers, but they could certainly use some midrise apartments, condos, offices, and hotels.

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Once the city leadership finally gets out of the "flat earth" view of things and see that modern and historic can exist side-by-side and not ruin each other, then things will get rolling.

 

Hopefully this outside firm the city's hired to develop a plan or what not can show them this and adjust accordingly.

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