New Tom Lee Park Plan Revealed
Here are the bullet points, Memphis In May info, and some images:
Special thanks to the Daily Memphian for hosting a Q&A with Carol Coletta (President and CEO of Memphis River Parks Partnership) and Kate Orff (principal of SCAPE), and Jeanne Gang (principal of Studio Gang).
Some of the below bullet points were pulled from the video presentation and the Q&A portion:
Fast Facts and Memphis in May Info
- The new plan meets the requirements set forth by the mediation between MRPP, Memphis in May, and the Army Corp of engineers including open space requirements for events.
- Memphis In May will still happen in Tom Lee Park this fall (if everything goes as planned re: pandemic) and in May 2021.
- Memphis In May is supposed be out of the park for one year only: 2022.
- The space for BBQ team tents and stages for BSMF meet the requirements from the mediation.
- The project will cost a total of $60 million. Sources of funding: Tourism Development Zone money, Shelby County, State of Tennessee, and private funding.
New Design Fast Facts + Observations
- Vast and expansive grassy open spaces
- Riverside Drive will remain as it is
- There are the same number of parking spaces as today, but are spread out along the length of the park, including on both sides of Riverside Drive
- Spaces for playgrounds, picnics, and a sand bar beach
- Has some shade but preserves views of the river
- Accessible ramp built down from the bluff
- A “civic water feature” and shady grove near Beale Street Landing
- A canopy in the Heart of the Park
- A “very high above the river” platform on the South End
This new plan comes after some, um, consternation from some locals after the first plan was announced last spring. Mostly, supporters of Memphis In May were concerned the new plan wouldn’t leave adequate room for Beale Street Music Festival and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.
According to the Daily Memphian, the mayor mandated that the Memphis River Parks Partnership work with Memphis in May and the Army Corps of Engineers to come to an agreement on the new design.
Memphians are in their FEELINGS about this. I may regret asking this, but—what are yours? Let me know in the comments, but keep it civil.
For more information: