Food, music themes discussed for 28th/31st connector public art

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 11:22pm

Though it’s early in the process, public support might be growing for food and music themes to the public art component of the future 28th/31st Avenue Connector, according to Gary Gaston, design director of the Nashville Civic Design Center.

Gaston, speaking via phone following an NCDC-overseen public meeting regarding the connector, said meeting attendees stressed cultural and community elements for the soon-to-be-reinvented streets, which will provide connectivity between Nashville’s north and west sides.

“It’s not only a physical connection but a connecting of communities … that can unite people,” Gaston said. “That element is symbolic of what could be cool about the project.”

Under Metro’s Percent for Art program, the city places 1 percent of the proceeds from construction bonds issued for government buildings, parks and parking facilities into a fund that covers public art expenditures. The 28th/31st Avenue Connector will qualify for the program, as it will wind through Centennial Park.

Jennifer Cole, executive director of the Metro Arts Commission, said this will be the city's first project that will integrate art into the streetscape.

Cole said the commission is "thrilled" by the progress being made, adding that there is a bit more to do with the design team and setting a budget. A call for artists could be made in early 2011, she said.

Mayor Karl Dean set aside $18 million in his most capital spending plan for the streetscape improvement project, which city leaders discussed for years but were never able to execute.

The Metro Public Works Engineering Division will oversee the project, joined by the Metro Water Services Department, the Metro Arts Commission, Gresham Smith & Partners and Littlejohn Engineering Associates.

No official start date has been announced.     

3 Comments on this post:

By: shinestx on 12/1/10 at 7:32

That area is full of vacant industrial buildings... Last Sunday, an article appeared in one of the newspapers about the future intersection. With its accessibility to both Vandy and TSU... as well as the medical facilities in the area, this area should be zoned for a bio-research center.

By: orangey on 12/1/10 at 11:07

Thank you Mayor for finally getting this project on track.

By: nvestnbna on 12/3/10 at 10:11

Why isn't anyone discussing the impact this project could or should have on the Centennial Park master plan currently in process. A four lane thoroughfare could be a positive or a huge negative in the effort to position this park for the next few decades. The master plans I've seen show the 28th street connector going under the the park creating a wonderful feature and opportunity for the flagpole hill side of the park. Hats off to the Mayor on both these projects, but the seeming lack of coordination between the two is a huge mistake.