Sunday, July 08, 2007

Letters to the CA: Beale Street Landing

Click the "complete article" link below to read the letters to the Commercial Appeal [link] in response to last week's Hot Button question, which was:

Do you think Beale Street Landing, as designed, will attract residents from across Greater Memphis to spend time on the riverfront regularly?

I'm always frustrated and disappointed when I have clients or family and friends in from out of town and they ask me where they can go to get something to eat on the riverfront. Plus, I work Downtown, so it would be great to be able to walk a few blocks and go to a nice lunch or dinner on our riverfront. We will finally have that with Beale Street Landing!

I think the space will attract live music, which always draws a crowd. And what family wouldn't want to bring their kids down to the river for boat rides and cool places to play games?

Adrienne Timberlake

I've longed (for the 44 years I've lived in Memphis) for more ways to enjoy the Mississippi River. I think being able to get so close to the water is the most compelling feature of this complex project. A restaurant on the riverfront that is easy to get to, family-friendly areas and many more trees are amenities that are much needed.

Lucia Gilliland

Has anyone even thought of the parking situation? Or the traffic congestion? Why is someone always trying to turn the Downtown area into an amusement park? And a floating dock no less.

Which brings to mind the one thing that surely would have attracted Memphians as well as visitors down to the river more often -- a casino! There are a number of examples of this that have taken Memphians and visitors a little farther down the river.

Frank B. Tate

Instead of spending 29 million taxpayer dollars on something so risky and unnecessary, why don't we spend this year's Riverfront Development Corporation budget on redevelopment of Mud Island to achieve the same goals? We already have the infrastructure in place. The river park is shamefully underutilized but already paid for.

Everything that can be done with a new expensive boat dock can be accomplished across the harbor even closer to the mighty Mississippi! Add a trolley bridge, a pedestrian drawbridge and easier access for cars via Harbor Town and we might just accomplish our goal of reuniting Memphians with the river for about a tenth of the cost.

Jeffrey Chipman

I've looked at the four artist renderings of Beale Street Landing that were shown to City Council in May, and I now see accidents and crimes waiting to happen. There are too many places where an unattended child could get hurt or climb over a wall and go splat, or splash, below. There are too many walls, "islands" and strips of trees obstructing visibility, so that if someone was hurt or in trouble, they wouldn't be seen. Beale Street Landing is going to require 24/7 security.

Michael Cromer

I'm all for scrutinizing city projects to make sure the money is well spent, but it's time we gave the RDC a break. They have a great track record for making cost-effective riverfront improvements that help lend much-needed civic pride.

Memphians need to shed the cancerous cynicism and come together in excitement over this project.

Beale Street Landing will not only be a docking facility but primarily a place where the public can enjoy the river, regardless of the river level. The plans also include 100 new trees for shade and a green roof component, so it will only make the riverfront look better.

It will be a great way to start giving Memphians more tangible reasons to turn back to the river.

Hunter Sharpe

We go to Paducah, Ky., regularly on weekends. They have a community get-together called Downtown After Dinner every Saturday from May to September, with music of every variety and other activities and displays. Their riverfront has the tiers and walkways that are proposed for here. There is also a feeling of safety there, no matter where you walk.

Before our city officials spend money to draw people Downtown, they need to put the $29 million in city coffers to cover lawsuits, turn the police loose on the criminals, and allow them to clean up the city.

Until that is accomplished, no amount of money spent is going to attract people. Rape, robbery and murder have always been known to take the vibrancy out of any area.

Norma Wilson

Not too long ago, I had the experience of seeing some elderly friends who were visiting Memphis for the first time off on a riverboat cruise. It was quite embarrassing to take them down to the river and see them awkwardly try to navigate the cobblestones. We had to look at mounds of garbage that had been unloaded and heaps of luggage and supplies being loaded out in the open.

Later that same week I traveled to Pittsburgh for a meeting in the Three Rivers district. Across the river from my hotel was a beautiful riverboat landing, bustling with activity. The entire riverfront scene in Pittsburgh was beautiful, inviting and something that the former steel mill city takes great pride in. What a shame that Memphis, the city that defined river trade and entertainment in America, lags so far behind. Let's make our riverfront something to be proud of.

Robert Carter

I believe an addition such as this is long overdue. Both New Orleans and St. Louis have vibrant waterfront areas with numerous restaurants and places of entertainment that encourage not only their own citizens to visit downtown, but tourists as well.

Jack Wilson

Oh, please. Beale Street Landing will bring the same folks as The Pyramid, Peabody Place, Mud Island, the current river park and the Madison Avenue trolley. Will the City Council appoint Joseph Lee as head of the project?

James Dean Moss

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Beale Street Landing "satellite view" diagrams and more

To give you a better idea of the scale and location of the Beale Street Landing project, we've prepared these unofficial diagrams overlaid on Google satellite images. Click the "complete article" link to see all of them. Click the link(s) below each picture to enlarge it to 100dpi or 150dpi (in a separate window). Note: That would be 100-150 dpi if printed in landscape on lettersize paper.

Outlined in yellow. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [150 dpi]

Beale Street Landing is outlined in yellow. The planned One Beale towers complex is outlined in blue for comparison.

Filled-in. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Here we've painted in the major architectural features of the project. Details, such as the contents of the pods and small elements on the roof have been omitted. Colors are not true. Nevertheless, the diagram is accurate as to size, proportions, and location.

The light green object is the sloping roof of the restaurant. Both ends actually reach the ground. The restaurant itself is outlined in gray. Darker green represents grass and vegetation. White and gray represents concrete terraces and sidewalks. Colored in red is the helical walk to the boat dock.

The parking was originally planned to be underground with entrance and exit ramps from Riverside Drive. Due to issues with water level, it is now going to be a 65-space parking lot on Tom Lee Park (seen at the lower end in the diagram). The entrance and exit ramps have been retained in the plan for other purposes.

Compared to Master Plan. [Enlarge to 100 dpi]

Here we have overlaid an outline (in yellow) of the current Beale Street Landing design onto the 2002 Master Plan. The purple object within the yellow outline represent the Beale Street dock as was contemplated by the Master Plan's designers, and you may be able to discern a puple steamboat docked beside it. The present version, over three blocks long, is about 2 1/2 times as large. Outlined in light blue is the One Beale project.

What's there now. [Enlarge]

Here is the section of Tom Lee Park (plus a portion out of sight to the left) that will be consumed by the Beale Street landing project. This is one of the four large sections of the park that have been used for the Memphis in May concerts (3 stages and a tent). This is the location of the northernmost stage where Jerry Lee Lewis has played.

Architectural plan. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

The diagrams were based on the above architectural plan, as photographed in the RDC offices.

3-D Model. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [250 dpi]

Our diagrams were also based on the above model, as photographed in the RDC offices. Dark green objects are trees. The restaurant is beneath the long, sloped, light green roof.

The model doesn't show the parking lot (out of view to the right), which was relocated to Tom Lee Park after the model was constructed. The model doesn't show the One Beale project, which replaces the large, low building with the articulated roof directly behind the model.

Restaurant detail.

This is an official artist rendering that shows the restaurant, the roof, and platforms at the south end more clearly.

Artist Renderings

Courtesy of the RDC, we were able to obtain printed copies of the Beale Street Landing renderings that were furnished to City Council for the recent CIP review. We have scanned them in and they are below. There are four of them and they are dated May 11, 2007 Click the link(s) below each picture to enlarge to 100dpi or 200dpi (in a separate window). Note: That would be 100-200 dpi if printed landscape on lettersize paper.

Looking eastward. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Looking westward. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Looking north. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Looking south. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Beale Street Landing renderings

Courtesy of the RDC, we were able to obtain printed copies of the Beale Street Landing renderings that were furnished to City Council for the recent CIP review. We have scanned them in and they are below. There are four of them and they are dated May 11, 2007 Click the link(s) below each picture to enlarge to 100dpi or 200dpi, if printed landscape on lettersize paper.

Looking eastward. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Looking westward. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Looking north. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

Looking south. [Enlarge to 100 dpi] [200 dpi]

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