Q: Who's Got a Cobblestone Landing Besides Memphis?

A: Nobody in the U.S.A. has an authentic, usable waterfront or riverfront cobblestone landing anymore except Memphis.

"It is the last remaining stone-paved landing on interior waterways. There used to be others, especially at St. Louis and Cincinnati‚ but those have been destroyed," says archaeologist Guy Weaver.

When the shore at the foot of the bluffs was paved with cobblestones back in the 1800s, Memphis became a center of commerce. This is one reason FfOR and other civic groups ardently promote preservation of Memphis Cobblestone Landing and restoring its usability for boating and enjoyment for everybody, locals and visitors.

"The cobblestones are one of the most significant historic sites in this area," says Guy Weaver. Actually, Americans (and other nationals) spend thousands of dollars each year to visit European and South American cities that preserve their sites' cobblestones. Think about it!

Click HERE to learn more about the Cobblestone Landing at Weaver & Associates.

Q: How Long Did It Take to Lay The Cobblestones at Memphis?

A: Start-to-finish, the cobblestone paving took about 22 years. The
first paving project was 1859-1881; the final phase was 1879-1881.
The stones were shipped on riverboats to Memphis from about 7
locations with quarries that had stone best suited for the purpose.
These carefully selected stones have lasted 150 years in good

So, what is the problem with the stones? No problem at all with the stones themselves. Problem is a lack of maintenance and dredging too close to the base of the landing. Those are fixable. Sand and soil, not mortar hold them in place, creating a permeable and sustainable riverfront landing.


Q: Who Laid Our Original Cobblestones?

A: Irish and German immigrants, who had masonry skills and previous experience in cobblestone paving. Contractor Joseph Loudon was in charge of laying the Memphis Cobblestone Landing.


This Place Matters

Full of memories and in continuous operation for 150 years, the Memphis Cobblestone Landing is eligible to become a National Historic Landmark.

Join the Fun - Outdoors Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race

Paddle or just join the celebration. Voted "Best Race in America" by Paddler Magazine.

Date: Sat. May 2
Check-in: 7am at north end of Greenbelt Park on Mud Island; registration deadline Fri. 6 pm.
Finish line & Celebration: Jefferson Davis Park on the Memphis Riverfront.

Dick Hackett, Cybill Shepherd(twice), Olympic paddlers, and the rest of us who dust off cobwebs and drag boats out of garages have raced. It's the largest canoe & kayak race in the southeast United States!

For more information, click HERE.

200 Memphians Answer Ol' Man River's Call

A beautiful bank of green flags waving in the morning breeze
greeted volunteers on Saturday April 25 for Riverfront Harbor Cleanup!

Sponsored by Mississippi River Corridor - TN
Partners: Friends for Our Riverfront, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,Clean Memphis, Sierra Club, Riverfront Development Corp. and Comcast Cares

Click HERE to read Commercial Appeal coverage.

Join us on our Facebook page

Log in and then go to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=56776021320#/group.php?gid=567760213 to join. Invite your friends, too!

Tribute to Jack Tucker, Father of Downtown Living

Over 300 gathered in tribute to Jack Tucker Saturday afternoon April 25, at the beautiful Lord’s Chapel he designed. The speakers included friends, colleagues and admirers: Mason Granger, Tommy Polk, John Elkington, Virginia Overton Mclean, John Malmo, Carol Coletta, Congressman Steve Cohen.

For information about his life and work, click HERE.

Ol' Man River Wants YOU on Earth Day!

Good. Clean. Fun.

Riverfront Harbor Clean-Up

Cobblestone Landing, Memphis Riverfront - Riverside Dr. at Monroe

Saturday, April 25, 9 am-1 pm Raindate: Sunday, April 26, 1-3 pm.
Free Lunch for volunteers! Courtesy of Chick-fil-A and Pepsi America celebrating Earth Day

Sponsored by Mississippi River Corridor - TN
Partners: Friends for Our Riverfront, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clean Memphis, Sierra Club, Riverfront Development Corp. and Comcast Cares

Click below for additional information.
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Songs & Stories at Minglewood Hall

True Story Pictures documents the stories of Memphis artists, and on Sunday, April 19, they're featuring some of our city's best music at a benefit performance "Songs & Stories" at Minglewood Hall (1555 Madison).

Memphis's seminal supergroup, Mudbody and The Neutrons, are reuniting for the night; Jim Dickinson and Sid Selvidge, who donated their talent for the CD "Save Our Riverfront", and Jimmy Crosthwait will take the stage with Paul Taylor and Steve Selvidge at 6:30 pm. Amy LaVere and Alvin Youngblood Hart are the night's headliners, and the California-based Pawnshop Kings will honor their Mid-South roots by opening up the evening.

For details and a sneak preview, click below.
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What do Cobblestone Lovers Really Want?

We say "YES" to both questions posted in the Commercial Appeal. We don't see a choice of either/or:
  • Is $6 million necessary for Cobblestone Landing repairs to stabilize it and increase safety?
  • Is Cobblestone Landing a historic place that shouldn't be unduly disturbed?

Since about 1995, lots of people, including the Riverfront Development Corporation and Friends for Our Riverfront, have agreed on two common goals:

  1. The historic Cobblestone Landing should be the central focal point of the riverfront.
  2. It is important to have access to the river.

FfOR supports a plan that will accomplish BOTH goals. Without modifications, the currently proposed plan for Cobblestone Landing will not achieve BOTH of these goals. FfOR recommends everyone's careful consideration and review of the plan. We have requested a copy to study the details.


Cobblestones are Hot News. WHY?

Because Cobblestone Landing launched Memphis as a major distribution center back when the river was the highway of commerce. That was our starting point. Today, Memphis is still a major distribution center with Fed Ex headquarters. How great that is for our city! But river barges keep coming and going daily, so let's not forget our roots. The original Port of Memphis, or Memphis Landing, was a muddy embankment. Paving the shore at the foot of the bluffs with cobblestone back in 1800s is what paved our future as a center of commerce. This is why FfOR and other civic groups ardently promote preservation of our cobblestone landing.

WHY would we pave over our historic riverfront parkland?

As ALL citizens of Memphis and Shelby County own the riverfront property between Auction and Union as a pertual gift from Memphis founders designated for all citizens to enjoy freely as parkland, why would we allow our rightfully inherited property to be taken by city or county government for purposes of private commercial development? Common sense says we wouldn't do that.

Guess what? New York City is facing a similar issue. Take a moment to watch this video; click HERE, and then e-mail us your opinion about private commercial development on public property.

"Blacks Going Green in Memphis Could Fill a Book"

Mayor AC Wharton accepted the surprise award for his innovative project "Sustainable Shelby: A Future of Choice, Not Chance" and also presented a recyclable Key to Shelby County to guest speaker Dr. Sharon T. Freeman, author of "Blacks Living Green" on her first (and hopefully not her last) visit to Memphis.

Dr. Freeman was delighted with the award and Memphis hospitality during her visit. She told the crowd of about 100 people, that the African-American "Green" role models in our community could fill a book. To find out more about the night, the award recipients, and read Chris Peck's article in The Commercial Appeal click below.
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"Ol' Man River" is Living Legend on Memphis Riverfront

James Hyter has become physically invisible to us, but his voice is very much alive in our memory of his incomparable rendition of "Ol' Man River" at Sunset Symphonies 1979-1998. Countless Memphians, and former Memphians, came to the riverfront to hear him sing, not in an enclosed concert hall but outdoors, regardless of the weather, in the open space of Tom Lee Park alongside the Mississippi River he sang about. It's probably true that he upstaged Bach's Brandenburg Concerto and fireworks.

Click to twice on the video below to hear his performance in 1998.

Click below to read the tribute to him from the Commercial Appeal.
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Friends Have Lost a Great Friend

"In Memphis I needed to be Downtown near the river," architect Jack Tucker told the Business Journal in 2004. "That's the city's soul."

Jack Tucker died a little past midnight on April 5th at his home in downtown's Cotton Row Historic District one block from the Mississippi River. His wife Cyndy Grivich and a few friends were with him. It's where and how he would have chosen. A memorial service will be held at the Elmwood Cemetery Chapel, which he designed. Details of date and time will be posted at this website.

Jack, who served on the Board of Directors of Friends for Our Riverfront since its inception, was a champion of conserving parkland along our riverfront and of protecting the rich heritage that defines our city. A pioneer in downtown's revitalization and a dedicated proponent of architectural restoration, Jack represented integrity, including wise spending on public property owned by the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County.

Jack is irreplaceable, but he left us a legacy of sound guidelines and an example of a life well-lived. Click "read more" below for information about his life and work.
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Grizzlies Went Green - Beat Mavericks

The Grizzlies beat the Mavericks 107 to 102 as FedEx Forum went green, and fans had a great time. Click "read more" below to see some fun photos taken at the FfOR table.

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