Sunday, October 21, 2007

Toward The River's Edge

In Memphis it seems we either suppress the edge

Under the Mud Island monorail, Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
or ignore it.

along the Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
We pour concrete or stone on top of it,

Mud Island boat launch, Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
we clear cut and mow it,

denuded riverbank, Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
we abandon it.

lost industrial setting, Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
Maybe we suppress it for the same reasons we run from the forest. And we ignore it because we're stuck with a vision of someone else's waterfront -- San Diego, or New York or Destin, or Pickwick.

Memphis needs a vision of the architecture and landscape for the River's edge. The vision should recognize both the edge's natural beauty,

green riverbank, Wolf River Harbor, Memphisand us.

houses on Mud Island, from the Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
The River should be the landscape architect.

willows sticking out into the Wolf River Harbor, MemphisThe man-made structures, the paths, or boat docks, or houses, should be built to survive the River's power, and complement the natural --the River's water, mud, trees, etc. And they should point us to the River. They should tell us to use it. And reward us with their beauty when we look back from the River.

Pyramid as seen from the Wolf River Harbor, Memphis
They should not be built to overpower its natural edge.

the foot of Beale as seen from Mud Island, Memphis

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