Architects unveiled on Thursday night the final designs of Nashville’s new adventure play park, an assortment of water- and nature-themed amenities that will sit on 6.5 acres on the east bank of the Cumberland River.
The $8.5 million play park, set for a September groundbreaking, is the first component of the city’s bold $30 million riverfront redevelopment plan. Future projects are to follow in the coming years.
Dollars for the riverfront’s overhaul were set aside in Mayor Karl Dean’s 2009-2010 capital-spending budget.
“It looks phenomenal,” said Councilman Mike Jameson, who fought to keep the play park as the redevelopment plan’s first project when it looked last spring like its construction could be put on the backburner.
At the same public unveiling, architects also released preliminary renderings of renovations for the old NABRICO building, which sits near the play park.
Slated for various park-related uses, it’s still unclear what will actually go inside the building. The refurbished building will feature a garden, outdoor seating and a statue, among other things. Renovations are scheduled to begin in October.
Project leaders say the play park –– sandwiched between the Korean Veterans and Shelby Street bridges –– is designed for kids of all ages. Noteworthy features include a hollow designed for small children, a gorge for larger children, a spray ground, a scooped misting meadow, a grass amphitheater and a canopy that doubles as a stage for events up to 1,200 people.
As part of the long-term plan, a few future projects include: terraces on the west bank of the river; a two-mile looped trail that encircles the river; naturals trails and vegetation; a cove; and an overlook and grassy lawn, which can be used as performance space.
Some spectators last night said they were concerned about the potential removal of Fort Nashborough, a replica of the pioneer-era fort located on the river’s west bank. Teachers often use the facility for educational purposes.
Projects leaders assured that the plan is to move Fort Nashborough approximately 50 yards to the north, which they say would place it closer to its original late-1700s location.