Downtown Review Board Avoids Beale Street Landing "colorful topper"

On July 11, the Design Review Board (DRB) steered clear of reviewing the colors for Beale Street Landing's elevator shaft and instead considered only the back-lit letters and logo that will be attached to it. There was some discussion, but basically they passed the buck and told citizens to take their concerns to the Mayor, elected representatives, and the courts.

The applicant, the Riverfront Development Corporation, told the DRB staff that the colorful panels had been approved by the DRB on March 5, 2008, and that, based on the approval, RDC had bought the panels.

DRB searched their records. They found no mention in the minutes of the March 2008 meeting that the elevator shaft would be any color but gray, and the illustrations submitted with the application showed a gray elevator shaft.

RDC illustrations submitted to DRB.
On left, March 2008. On right, July 2012.

Downtown Memphis Commission president, Paul Morris told DRB members, "I think a case could be made that we (DRB) didn't, maybe we didn't, review that part of it, and a case could be made that we didn't reach that level of detail or whatever," but Morris urged the Board not to go beyond looking at the letters and logo. "...the City made the decision to have RDC design and implement the riverfront development plan, and they didn't choose us to do that."

DRB members talked about Beale Street Landing's colors, but, in the end, they side-stepped the issue and passed the buck. As they said, if there is to be any review or opportunity for citizen input about the multi-colored elevator shaft, it will have to come as a result of appeals to the Mayor, elected representatives, or the courts.

Click HERE to email the Mayor. Or cut and paste his email address,

Click HERE to download audio of the meeting. (1 hour and 5 minutes playing time; 87.9MB)