Beale Street Landing Underway

by Lynda Ireland

Over 200 Memphians gathered at the river under two large shade trees at the groundbreaking ceremony, highlighted by Reverend Benjamin Hooks’ blessing and Middle Baptist Church gospel choir’s lively rendition of “O Happy Day.” Mayor Willie W. Herenton mentioned a visit years ago by Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson who pointed out that Memphis has something Atlanta is missing: the Memphis riverfront.

Other speakers included RDC chairman Greg Duckett, City Councilor Barbara Ware whose 7th district includes the riverfront, and Captain William Lozier of Memphis Riverboats whose brief remarks concluded with a friendly horn blast from the Memphis Queen out in the channel. Speakers recognized Pat Kerr Tigrett as a pioneer in riverfront enhancement with the lighting of our Hernando DeSoto Bridge. A diverse audience was very enthusiastic, so perhaps other riverfront projects in which FfOR has strong interest, such as the Historic Cobblestone Landing, the Public Promenade, extending the Bluffwalk, and Mud Island River Park, may benefit from a groundswell of public awareness.