the river

So, the Riverfront plan is getting some publicity this morning.. Now, before I go all debbie downer on you here, let me say that I think the plan is a great piece of work. The riverfront area of Nashville is one of its greatest assets and I love it – and I’ve spent time in other cities that make very good use of their riverfront space – many of them far better than ours. Even lil’ old Wilmington, NC has a nice riverfront boardwalk/restaurant/bar area that shames ours by comparison. So I’m glad to see some action on this – it’s time we caught up somehow.

That said, it’s because of riverfront as an asset that this plan bugs me. Why? Because the plan strikes me entirely as an effort to work around the fact that we can’t really do anything with the east bank of the river because, you know, we sold it. Oops. And they built that ugly-ass stadium right there instead. I mean, look at the rendering:

river concept rendering

The stadium itself is fairly underplayed, filled in with a fanciful background of “grass-laid parking areas” (ahem – good luck with that). I mean islands are cool and all, but I really wish we didn’t have to split and re-route the entire mighty Cumberland river, just so that we could actually have a riverfront area. But alas, what’s done is done, I suppose. The full plan itself is very cool – but you know how these things go. The full, glossy 20 year plan is presented, but it’s usually only the first phase that gets the green light, and then some portion of that which actually gets executed.

Personally, I would like to propose my own version of a riverfront revitalization project, entitled “Tear Down the Ugly-Ass Coliseum”, by Chris Wage.