Monday, March 05, 2007

Next Steps: The Towerscape of Winchester Park

Last year 2 charrettes took place in Memphis:
  1. Broad Avenue Arts District, held in January-February 2006.
  2. Winchester Park, held in July 2006.
I've been searching about but I haven't found much about the implementation of these charrettes. There was the new development code for Broad Avenue, but that was by the land use consultant based in Austin.

Maybe there's a ton going on but I can't find it. The areas are great and worth the attention they've received, but it feels like the attention was too long ago. They need more, and much more current.

Like, what's the next step and when should it happen?

In this apparent info and possibly actuo vacuum, I think it's important for both areas to put something on the ground. Trees, medians, whatever -- a striking piece of their plans that will say, "this is the new world."

My personal favorite: the Towerscape of Winchester Park. It was a bullet point from the Winchester Park charrette's final presentation:
• Build a “Towerscape,” of campaniles (or bell towers),
to guide visitors to each institution and to give
memorable character to the district.
beautiful visualization of a transformed Medical Center, including the towers, from the Winchester Park charrette final presentationInstitutions like Methodist-LeBonheur and St. Jude and University of Tennessee will each build one of these campanile at their respective edges of Winchester Park.

Of course, putting in trees and building medians and street parking would seem easier and less ambitious. But the advantage of the campanile, at least for the independent organizations, is that they can do it. No waiting around for the City or other governmental bodies. Also, it would be a striking, possibly transformative, beginning. They would serve those institutions well whether anything else ever happened in Winchester Park. So St. Jude and Methodist and Southern College of Optometry -- start building!

An example tower from the Winchester Park charrette final presentation
Sorry for my impatience. I know the cliche well -- Rome wasn't built in a day. But we should be able to build a median in a year. And a campanile in two.

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