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it's just dave

Nashville Bicentennial Mall/Walk

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In 1996 the state of Tennessee celebrated our its 200th birthday by opening the Bicentennial Mall just north of downtown Nashville on land which was cluttered with delapidated single story industrial buildings. The old farmer's market, an old grocery store and dangerous rail crossings punctuated this area of long decline. The state spent nearly $60 million to produce a living museum and greenspace in place of urban blight. With much fanfare and performances, the guest and performance list included everyone from then vice-president Gore to Isaac Hayes to Vince Gill. Each region of the state was represented and the event was inspiring. Each of Tennessee's 95 counties planted time capsules on the east promenade to be opened 100 years later.

Time has treated the park well. With strict attention to detail, everything from the landscapes, the structures and fountains, the special building materials, underground utilities and the plans for future enhancements (Tn State Museum, School for the Arts to be built on adjacent tracts); the park was constructed to last. The new Farmer's Market is on the western side of the park and the quickly changing urban Germantown neighborhood is directly north. The CBD is immediately south.

I took a walk this morning and wanted to share what I was able to see. This is an introduction to the park, there is so much more to see and experience than I'm able to show here. It was early, but there were still people around. Merchants at the market, tourists from New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain and Australia (I questioned the guides). A nice couple from Birmingham were there snapping photos (Ala). People jogging and walking. It was a nice morning.

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The Bi-Centennial mall is certainly one of the better urban parks/malls in the country of its kind. Its only a matter of time before development around the Bi-Centennial Mall really changes the character of the northern side of downtown altogether. Two 12 story condos in the works, the rowhomes on Ireland St, the 8.9 rowhomes, and Germantown's redevelopments hopefully are just the beginning. The area has lots of promise, the only thing missing is good public transit of course. With all the people moving in, hopefully they'll make regular bus service between downtown and the Germantown area.

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does anybody have any pics of the nearby areas you just mentioned such as germantown and the other buildings going up??

nashville seems to be seeing a downtown boom like never before. how exciting.

i was looking at www.the-gulch.com and this development looks really promising

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I'll sure trade three floors each for a whole new building.

Here's a photo from 1937 of the same general area. What a mess.

SulDellFlood1937.jpg

Nashville Sulphur Dell baseball park anchored the area from 1870. The park was dismantled in 1969. I certainly don't remember any of this...but I was 16 in 1969, so I should at least have seen the park, but don't recall ever having done so.

I'll throw in a couple more of the ballpark. If there's any fans of historic baseball parks, SulphurDell.com will show you much more and provide an extensive history of this place ... Nashville Vols, baseball's Negroe Legue, Babe Ruth...it's got a bit of everything.

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I'd look at them as pieces of a much larger puzzle. Each piece has no real sense of wholeness it itself, but as the assembly of pieces continues, the picture becomes more complete. As in the park, time and maturity of place will define the area in the future. Sales are brisk, approaching 75% pre-sold.

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Dave, to be fair, this looks like a picture taken during a major flood. LOL Why else would there be water everywhere in the streets?

SulDellFlood1937.jpg

However, its amazing how much old-density was lost in this area. Hopefully it can be built back with modern housing and business.

Dave, even you weren't alive when Nashville still had its old-world density like that. Nashville quite possibly has lost more old-urban density then any other city in the country by proportion. Remember it was far more developed then Charleston in 1900 - one of the few cities in the south over 100,000 at that time.

Today you see only a little bit of this kind of stuff left over - no telling how much was torn down.

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Ha, I was corrected on that little mistake on the "other" board. I've edited it, but for those wondering, I mentioned that the park was built for the nation's 200th birthday instead of the state's ... I knew otherwise, can I claim typo.

Yep, the area was flood prone and this was a major flood in 1937. The large structure under water in photo center is the ballpark. I was pretty amazed at the density of the time. We can only imagine what life was like on the streets of our cities during those times. Hopefully, we can recapture at least a little of that. It'll never be like it was, but seeing people re-populate the entire inner loop is what I'd like.

Fortunately, the series of dams on the Cumberland have reduced the possibility of flooding to minimum levels.

heckles, what do you mean...."even *I* wasn't around....." Dog.

Birthdays, bring 'em on!

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