Cobblestone Landing Plan Needs a Fundamental Change

A small group of “stakeholders” met with the RDC to discuss a “restoration” plan for the Cobblestone Landing. It’s all preliminary we were told. The plan, however, has been sent to the TN State Historic Preservation Office for consideration and a request to approve funding is in this year’s CIP budget.

For a long time the Cobblestone Landing has been neglected and allowed to deteriorate, so it’s good news that there’s a plan in the works and $6M on hand for the project. But this plan is not what most people have been expecting. It needs careful review and a fundamental change.

Since the 1980s, Memphians have envisioned an active Cobblestone Landing with floating barges and restaurants. Instead the current plan will no longer allow boats at the Cobblestone Landing and will make the Cobblestone Landing a vast empty field of rocks with a few historic markers and walkways right in the center of the waterfront - not the way to create a vibrant riverfront.

Somehow in Memphis we have quite a track record for building new projects and simply abandoning what we already have. It looks like we may be headed down that same dead-end path on the riverfront with the new $29 million Beale Street Landing taking over all the current and historic uses of its neighbor the Cobblestone Landing. It looks like the “restoration” plan could actually have the opposite effect and instead become a “decommissioning” of the Cobblestone Landing. One of our City’s most significant landmarks, the authentic Cobblestone Landing has been continuously used for 150 years as a commercial boat landing. FfOR believes that any “restoration” plan for the landing should stabilize, restore, and improve the usability of the Cobblestone Landing both for people and boats.

Michael Cromer, FfOR board member and webmaster, has set up a new website with information on the Cobblestone Landing. A blog, the site also gives you a chance to comment and make suggestions. Click here to learn more and get involved.
If you want to be sure that the Cobblestone Landing will be able to accommodate boats in the future, let the City Council know.