City officials unveil design plans for Avenue of the Arts streetscape project

Friday, October 12, 2012 at 3:08pm

Metro officials on Friday announced plans for a streetscape project, dubbed the Avenue of the Arts, on Fifth Avenue North between Church and Union streets.

As part of Artober Nashville — a month-long arts and cultural celebration — Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Public Works and the Metro Arts Commission discussed plans for a redesign project meant to create a central visual arts district to host events as well as attract more customers and tenants to the area.

That particular block of Fifth Avenue already includes 19 art galleries, The Arcade, and is home to a monthly first Saturday art crawl.

Design plans so far call for a block-long Avenue of the Arts that would include an overhead lighting canopy, and a streetscape with better sidewalks, platforms for art and outdoor dining.

According to city officials, the overhead lighting canopy would be made up of eight “light curtains” hung from 30-foot light poles, using LED lights. The canopy is designed to cross the width of the road and stretch the entire block.

Plans include three landscaped sidewalk extensions — one adding more outdoor dining at Fifth and Church, and another at the entrance to The Arcade featuring public art to commemorate the area’s storied history during the Civil Rights movement.

6 Comments on this post:

By: Ask01 on 10/13/12 at 10:12

Why, if the city is so strapped for cash, it must pick citizen's pockets, specifically property owning citizen's, are we spending money on this nonsense?

I read where Mayor Dean's much celebrated Medical Mart has tanked, so obviously that cash flow stream has evaporated.

Hey, Karl! Why don't you take care of all the needed improvements, like say sidewalks all over Nashville for a start, before you start spending money on needless frivolities?

That tax increase affects everyone owning property in Davidson County, thanks to the nightmare of metropolitan government, so spend some money all over the county, and let downtown fend for itself for a while.

By: bfra on 10/15/12 at 2:17

NEEDED sidewalks other than downtown, would not put any stars in Karl's crown with the money people he caters to!

By: NewYorker1 on 10/15/12 at 8:11

Yeah... It's time to get vote Dean out of office. QUICK!

The city spends money on the Titans and Predators so why not spend some of it for the people that enjoy the Arts better than sports. I prefer art and cultural activities over sports, so it's good to see some money being spent for the tax payers that don't care for sports.

By: TGL on 10/15/12 at 11:24

I guess this is another reason the mayor wants General, Bordeaux and Knowles downsized. Or maybe it is his mass transit project. Have you seen the park under the bridge on Jefferson or the new signs all over town. If there is no money and there is a need for property tax increase...hmmm all I can say is Nashvillians need to wake up!

By: Ask01 on 10/16/12 at 4:19

NewYorker1, public art is, in and of itself, not a problem. I do, despite my post, appreciate public art, particularly when said art reflects something of the community where located.

However, after all the money spent on 'special projects,' benefitting primarily downtown, Mayor Dean and Metro Council should turn some attention and money to other areas.

Downtown, with mainly businesses and entertainment venues seem, so often to reap a disproportionately high benefit from tax dollars versus the areas where people actually live.

I say the downtown businesses and entertainment venues, to includes sports teams, can and should pay their own way.

Just as some call for citizens to quit depending on government handouts, so should the corporate welfare recipients, being more capable than average citizens.

Metro should spend money responsibly, taking care of citizens, before such frivolities, perhaps even being able to avoid raising taxes.

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