Cobblestone Landing Restoration - Do it with Excellence


Recognized by the National Park Service for the important role it has played in American history, the Memphis Cobblestone Landing is being restored. The Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) will present their revised restoration plan to the Memphis Landmarks Commission Thursday, Apr. 26, at 5 pm at City Hall (125 N. Main, Conference Rm. A, 4th floor) and to the Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board on Wed., May 2 at 5 pm at DMC's office, 114 N. Main Str.) Both meetings are open to the public. To submit comments to DRB, e-mail Brett Roler (575-0540); to Landmarks, fill out their automatic e-mail form HERE.

Representatives from FfOR have met with RDC representatives, reviewed the proposed design and materials, and, in response to a request from the RDC, we've summarized our opinion about the revised proposals for both the Cobblestone Landing and Beale Street Landing projects.
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Getting Ready for the Queen

Lots of work has been going on at Beale Street Landing in preparation for the arrival and christening of the American Queen.

Andy Ashby at Memphis Business Journal covered details about the construction of the Landing's 410'long x 28'wide floating dock. Built in Iuka, MS and on Presidents Island by LCI Inc., the dock is described as two barges attached to two hydraulic mooring arms that rise and fall as water levels change. John Conroy says they are, "one of a kind in the world."

Benny Lendermon of the RDC took ABC/24 reporter Mike Matthews on a hardhat tour.

Wayne Risher reported in the Commercial about the ship's refurbishment and scheduled arrival in Memphis Thurs. 4/26 at 8:30am, christening by Marie Presley Friday from 2:30 - 4:30pm, and departure Friday at 6 pm for Louisville.

Overnight Cruising Back in Memphis - 1st Ship Out a Surprise

In all the excitement about the refurbishment of the American Queen, its scheduled departure from Memphis on Apr. 27, and new jobs with Great American Steamboat Co., we almost missed the 1st overnight cruise ship to pull out of Memphis since 2008.

It happened this past Saturday, Apr. 14. Passengers boarded the 99-passenger Grande Caribe at the Memphis Cobblestone Landing for a 9 day trip south to New Orleans.

Less opulent than the American Queen and not steamboat-style, the smaller ship notes that it is BYOB to cut down on bar tabs, carries kayaks, a raft, and bikes on board, and offers photography workshops and lectures, which may be an appeal to a younger, adventure travel market. The quoted price for the cruise ranges from $2,699 to $3,389 per person, but a special 2-for-1 rate was offered on this maiden voyage.

Built by Blount Boat Co. and operated by Blount Small Ship Adventures of Warren, RI, Grande Caribe was commissioned in 1997, renovated in 2009, and sails routes that include Belize, US, and Canadian waterways. Click for information about the itinerary or to book a spot on the repeat of this cruise Treasures of the Mississippi: Memphis to New Orleans, scheduled for Dec. 10 -18, and for more information about the the ship.

For information about the American Queen, its April 27th departure, itinerary, entertainment, christening, pricing, and future trips to and from Memphis, click HERE.

City Enters Agreement to Correct Sewage Treatment Problems

After a long history of sewage problems including foam floating down the River from the M. C. Stiles Sewage Treatment Facility, an enforcement action was filed against the City of Memphis. Yesterday, two years later, the City reached a settlement agreement with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Under the agreement, the City will assess areas near Cypress, Cane, and Lick Creeks, develop three large infrastructure projects one of which is the Wolf River interceptor, and have written policies and procedures for operation and maintenance activities.

For more information, click HERE.

For the consent decree, click HERE.

Great day to Hook Up to Clean Up Downtown & our Riverfront

Near & On the River soooo much going on this Weekend

For more info., click HERE & HERE.

Did you know? New York City’s High Line project had grassroots beginnings.

Two “average Joes” organized others, and the city eventually listened, hiring James Corner Field Operations for the redesign.

It's a fascinating story -- how Robert Hammond and Joshua David attended a public meeting determined to keep the abandoned High Line railway from being torn down, but they never intended to lead the struggle. In 1999 they found themselves forming Friends of the High Line with opposition from every corner: city officials, developers, and neighborhood groups. The tide turned in 2001-2002, when photographer Joel Sternfeld captured the beauty and potential of the abandoned line in a series of compelling photographs. In 2009, 10 years after its initial conceptualization, the first phase of The High Line "park in the sky" opened in the lower West side of Manhattan. It has spurred some $2 billion in ancillary development, and has had a positive effect on the local crime rate, with not a single serious offense reported on the High Line since it opened.
based on an iinterview with Robert Hammond in ASLA's "The Dirt."

David and Hammond have written the whole story in their new book, High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky. Martin Filler, in the NYReview of Books calls it "an inspiring case study of how major city planning initiatives can be realized without either the authoritarian methods of Robert Moses …or today’s characteristic commercially driven redevelopment schemes."

High Line captures art of the promenade

As the sun slides down beyond the Hudson River ..., you’re bound to encounter the lost art of the promenade, unhurried conversation, perhaps even someone using paper and pen to scribble free verse in a journal."

People of all walks of life, at all times of day, ...enjoying one another's company....

from "Walking on Air" by Jeff Gordinier, New York Times.

Photos by Casey Kelbaugh, "A Time Tunnel in Downtown, New York Times.

Click HERE for an audio/video stroll with Bill Cunningham on the "most extraordinary fashion promenade you can imagine...."

High Line - How it Worked Design-wise

Figuring out how to reuse the abandoned railway moved fast. Friends of the High Line held an open, international "search for ideas" in Jan. 2003. They were put on public display at Grand Central Terminal, and, with the City and community leaders on board, the ideas were narrowed down to those from 52 teams, and then to four teams who presented designs. In Oct. 2004 James Corner Field Operations, with a collaborative team that included architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and planting designer Piet Oudolf, was chosen.
In the beginning ... I thought it would make sense for an architect to be a lead, but this is truly a landscape project.… When I talked to architects about their concept it was all additives, about adding things to the High Line. Landscape architects are better at dealing with existing conditions. The existing condition was so important to us and had such a deep connection with the history and what people fell in love with, and James Corner recognized that.
Robert Hammond, Co-Founder of the High Line

Design Slideshow. (Click on individual slides for explanation.)
Interactive map and Design Video.

Downtown to get some TLC

All over downtown, Volunteers are Hooking Up to Clean Up, so please bring your brawn and spirit - come help!!

Saturday, Apr. 14, 2012

Registration & Clean Up @ 9am @ 3 Locations:
* Huling Trolley Stop for South Main
* Cobblestone Landing for Central Downtown
* Uptown Park for North District

Party to celebrate our handi-work in Uptown Park @ Noon.

Community partners: