City Likely to Create New Public Parking in Downtown Core (Johnson City: lofts, movers)
Kingsport - Johnson City - BristolThe Tri-Cities area
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I've not heard that they won't preserve them. Was that in the paper? I did know that they uncovered them.
The floorpad for downtown Johnson City is actually quite large. The city has done so-so work on the east side but what really needs a massive amount of attention and investment is the west side - from Morrell's Music down through Down Home. That and properties on the other side of State of Franklin...
Tragic they're gone. It's not about which ones are larger, or can be better used. It's about maintaining historical integrity, architectural integrity, etc. The Tipton Street area has had some horrible redevelopment work - shoddy window treatments and questionable usage plans. JC has the LEAST amount of structures to revitalize in the Tri-Cities - tearing ANY of them down is just a mistake. And, also, did I hear correctly....? They uncovered original brick under downtown city streets, but will NOT preserve it, because it is "too expensive" to keep up???????? Having moved here from an historical city with serious preservation goals, and legislation against demolition, I am familiar with the debate. Smart revitalization plans surround us in neighboring states, so I'm not sure WHY East TN is lagging behind. I encourage everyone to read "Preservation" magazine, produced by the National Trust.
I SO agree with everything you've said...... Yes, that IS and has always been the big mystery; why has JC been so slow to recognize what it has in downtown JC (including some beautiful old brick roadways).. We, too, originally hail from an historic area of Connecticut (and later from Wilmington, NC) where preservation of beautiful old buildings maintains the focus - and an essential imperative!
My husband did observe the other day that city folks were out there in force with brick samples, apparently trying to determine what would best work to fill in the areas missing brick.. So, there is hope but I do agree that materials used in the Tipton renovations do not enhance the historical nature of those buildings --- but then again, we are just happy to see *something* major being done even if it doesn't qualify as a quality restoration! It is also fun to see folks (and kids) walking or riding bikes on the old brick streets,obviously intrigued by 'the new look'.. These changes on Tipton and Main Street have obviously generated a lot of new interest in downtown. And that is good and positive!
News today in the Press - they'll pave over the bricks ---- "temporarily", the city said. Too bad since most merchants (and visitors) apparently seemed to like the idea of having brick streets and could wait the time it would take to get this done. (Wish downtown folks had some genuine representation on the city commission) And a little ironic, too, since they had said the reason they wouldn't take those Buffalo Street buildings down is because some people had protested.. I'll never understand the motivation behind the city's position(s) on downtown..
(Put a new program in and again, can't figure out how to do links!> the JC Press)
The JC city commission is inept at best.... This is just another of the multitude of FAILURES from the current board. Lets see if I can name all of them : Decade long delay for a new senior center (not all the fault of the current board, but blame still exists), inability to work with MSHA/ETSU/Washington County and other key players in the community, train station depot issue (permits etc.), bickering over new football stadium, issues at Science Hill, the list goes on and on.... Again the citizens and tax payers of this area are left unserved by those we elected. The good news is that Pete Paduch is writing letters to the editor again, hopefully he will return to service and let "Plain Jane" go back to running a deli not a city.
Obviously, my frustration at this whole debacle with downtown revitalization is immense. Too bad I am not a city resident or I would run for the board myself. But, I should commend the city for buying a plot of farmland in the boonies for a park... good job guys!
"A million-dollar investment, I think, needs to be thought about a while,” Commissioner Phil Carriger said.
I think this sums up Johnson City's problems. When building a new health department or submitting an overall site plan for, like, downtown redevelopment, *that* is when you think about things a while. When an opportunity presents itself, like this, you take it and run with it...
I'm new to town, sorta. Is there any group I can join, to speak up for preservation and development??? (My father was born here, and my late grandparents lived most of their lives in Elizabethton.) This is really getting out of hand - with all of the new "blood" in the Tri-Cities, maybe there are possibilities????
When you see what they're doing ALL over the country, it is particularly upsetting to witness such a sluggish response to revitalization and preservation here in East TN. I know that the recession has put a temporary cap on plans, but I think it's more than that. Too many people see festivals and events in downtown areas as the road to renewal, but it has to be a whole lifestyle change. The State of Franklin Road is NOT the Second Coming. The heart and soul of ANY city is its DOWNTOWN. If you tear it down, THEY WILL NOT COME. Plus, antique stores are a nice draw, but they are only a component. Urban living is essential for rejuvenation, and its development has to be well thought out. Slapping ill-conceived dry wall randomly into an open space, is NOT "loft living." Over-speculation, and inflated rentals, will kill revitalization before it begins. We need to get people living downtown, and I think it is possible and affordable. Those of us who love true "loft" living, do NOT want to see wonderful historic structures chopped into wanna-be apartments. I enjoyed a great loft space in Texas, in an old meat warehouse, and it actually had been altered very little. The bathroom and kitchen were non-invasive, and everything else was raw space.
Ripshin, they are doing it...just not in JC, but in Kingsport and some in Bristol.
Check out the loft living style/design in Kingsport here:MAIN
Click on the Sterchi loft project for pictures.
Wow!! That is amazingly creative and beautifully-done. How sad for downtown JC that these same folks were *here* and very active in downtown but were discouraged from their efforts by various city agencies. We lost them to Kingsport.
MB, the BANQ building is so cool. Is the rooftop table area open to the public or is it just for loft owners? Is it a night spot? LOVE that! We were in Charleston and had a glass of wine on the rooftop of a hotel, looking over the city at night. I can just imagine the view of the mountains from Kingsport. Johnson City would also have great views...if ever they do add some urban entertainment sites downtown. An ampitheater would be a great addition to JC, too. There are a ton of "Tribute" bands and musicians from "back in the day" that tour smaller venues in the summer. Bring a chair, pay $5 and you've got a great, cheap night out on a nice summer evening. I applaud you, SarahSal and Ripshin and Jabogitlu and others who post ideas, thoughts, recommendations on these boards. Do the movers and shakers in JC research sites like this?
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