Library Record

Object Name Plan
Catalog Number 2014.001.118
Summary "Downtown Chattanooga: An Urban Design Plan and Improvements Program for the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee." This is a plan published in September 1976 as a cooperative effort between the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, the Downtown Development Committee, the Area Beautification Committee, and the Central City Council, as well as other private entities. The study was prepared by Seay and Ridenour, Inc., Landscape Architects and Planners, out of Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of the plan was to conduct a comprehensive study of the Downtown area and to propose implementable steps to revitalize and develop the downtown area. First, the study aimed to conduct an analysis of downtown's competitive position in the regional market and recommend strategies for optimizing downtown development within this market. Secondly, parking analyses were completed which focused on providing better access and circulation as well as providing a plan to meet existing and anticipated parking demands. Finally, an examination of pedestrian movement and open space, downtown amenities and activities, rehabilitation opportunities, and signing was conducted. The study, in summary, responds to the following design concepts and procedures: Establish an open space system as a framework in which existing and future development may optimally function; provide a system of vital pedestrian linkage between existing and anticipated key pedestrian generators; support and stimulate development through the provision of carefully planned activity areas; create a harmonious and vital environment throughout the downtown area through the establishment of specific streetscape treatment and open space projects each with appropriately planned activities; Identify priorities and a range of costs for each element within the improvements program; Suggest phasing and responsibilities for implementing the total system; Address maintenance implications in terms of available resources; Identify rehabilitation opportunities which exist downtown; Present suggested sign controls which will provide a coordinated system of signing as part of overall downtown improvements to the mutual benefit of the owner as well as the downtown visitor.

The study goes on to examine each of these sections of the overall plan in detail.

The "zones" of downtown are defined, with the area located between 6th and 9th streets (9th street is now MLK Blvd.) on the north, and Cherry and Broad Streets to the east and west, described as the major retail core. The remaining areas are labeled "support zones" and include Georgia and 4th streets.

The study then details several different kinds of "Pedestrian Activity Generators", and a map of the downtown area is included, highlighting the major traffic and pedestrian pattern of movement, as well as major pedestrian activity generators.

The next focus is existing landscape development, which includes things like street lighting, signal lights, traffic signs, fire hydrants, mailboxes, etc. Also, those landscape features which have been added to the downtown environment fall under the category of "open space resources". A map showing the location of these open space resources is included and highlights surface parking, lawns and planting, park(s)/interchanges(s), plazas, traffic islands, street planters, and street trees. The various existing landscape features are defined and exemplified. A list of the kinds of plants and trees that would be suitable to the downtown environment is included.

A map is included at the end of the section on open spaces that highlights the areas where there is an opportunity or need for more open space development.
The next section details specific proposals at various locations around the downtown area. These include increased tree planting, "flag plazas", which would house flags of the state, nation, and city, outdoor seating and fountains, as well as several small parks and other urban design elements intended to improve the look and feel of the downtown area. Many of these improvements were intended to frame various entrances into downtown proper, and these locations are identified and improvements to them suggested. There are seventeen of these areas in total. Much emphasis is given to Market Street between 6th and 9th Streets, with this area forming "Market Center." This area was to be a shopping and business hub as well as a pleasant place for both pedestrian and automotive traffic. Tree planters, new wider sidewalks, sales kiosks, and special bus lanes were all included in the plan for Market Center. There are three illustrations of the Market Center plan covering the length of Market Street between 6th and 9th street showing the proposed new design and improvements to this area.

The urban development plan outlined would be implemented in three phases: Phase One (1976-1979); Phase Two (1980-1984); Phase Three (Continuing). A list, according to priority, estimated costs based on 1976 construction, and suggested responsibility follow, in a section called Phasing the Program. The total for phase one was estimated at $1,918,000; Phase two $817,000; and phase three $1,017,000.

A short section discussing suggested improvements from the area of 4th Street to Riverfront Parkway is included, titled "The Next Phase". One of the improvements that is mentioned is studying the feasibility of converting Walnut Street Bridge into a pedestrian walkway and bikeway.

A section on sign controls discusses how to improve or replace the existing signs and make them more aesthetically pleasing and decrease "visual pollution". The section lays out several guidelines, regulations, and controls to implement a uniform style of signage in the downtown area.

The next section of the study presents examples of rehabilitation opportunities in the downtown area. Included with these examples are photographs from the street view of the proposed rehab sections as well as suggested guidelines for how to go about the rehab.

The final section of the study contains an appendix titled "Pallette of Materials". This appendix describes an element, such as paving, the use area, the desired effect, the design criteria comments, and the suggested type of material.
Title Downtown Chattanooga An Urban Design Plan and Improvements Program for the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Physical Description spiral bound with cardboard dustjacket
11.50" x 11.00"
51 pages
Published Date 1976
Accession number 2014.001