Keep the Landing Open - This Place Matters
FfOR supports restoration, maintenance, and increased public use of the Cobblestone Landing as a vibrant, active, working dock. It is both the city's historic and current riverboat landing and one of our most significant landmarks. Its cultural significance and location in the center of the riverfront make it a key component in downtown's revitalization and an important asset for recreation, commerce, and historic tourism.
The current proposal to use riprap and a bulkhead capped with a sidewalk to stabilize the landing will permanently close the site for boat use and leave the riverfront with a vast empty field of cobblestones in its center.
How should the landing be restored?
The answer may lie just across the harbor at the Mud Island River Park boat ramp. It copied the Cobblestone Landing, and the constant slope allows people and boats to reach the water at all water levels.
The original design of the Cobblestone Landing works. As the 2002 RDC Master Plan said, "The Cobblestones are amphibious in nature, part land, part water, and are the perfect form for boat landings given the river’s rising and falling tendency.”
Restoration of the Cobblestone Landing should:
• Get the goal right – Top Priority: Restore, Maintain, and Open it Up as a free navigable site for people to use and enjoy. Add other features only if we have extra money and they don’t have an adverse impact on the historic property.
• Follow the guidelines of the 1996 Preservation Plan. If there is a need for any change to its recommendations or the landing’s original design, involve specialists in historic preservation, archaeologists, river users, environmental experts, and the public.
• Repair drainage problems, discourage dredging close to the bank, plan for future maintenance.
• Brag about our authentic historic Cobblestone Landing. Nominate the site as a National Historic Landmark. “Today of all the great landings in the MS River basin, the Memphis landing is acknowledged to be the best preserved."