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Old 08-07-2013, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
4,265 posts, read 2,288,432 times
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Default Who remembers the Interstate 40 "scar"?

That was the vacant strip of land across the middle of Memphis that was intended for the path of Interstate 40. Although the highway was not built, many homes and businesses were demolished to clear a path. Until the I-40/I-240 interchange near the Medical District was rebuilt, you could find "ghost ramps" heading east. Over the last 20 years or so, the "scar" has mostly been filled in with homes built in the styles of the surrounding neighborhoods. Sam Cooper Boulevard was also extended westward over a "scar" to intersect with East Parkway North. God bless.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:09 PM
 
908 posts, read 463,798 times
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In 2001 I worked at a restaurant on Overton Park Ave in Midtown amd the scar was still there, decades after the interstate plans were cancelled. A few years later new homes were built in the early 20th century style, so that they fit the neighborhoods. Looks great over there!
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Crosstown *****
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I see it everyday. My house sits across from where it was coming through between Bellevue and Claybrook. My street dead ends into it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:42 PM
 
199 posts, read 163,387 times
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The state highway department did that with zero public input. Nothing. Nada. Pure heartlessness and corruption out of Nashville. Thank goodness for some very dedicated Memphis citizens, who went all the way to the US Supreme Court in what would become a landmark decision.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Music City, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_commuter View Post
The state highway department did that with zero public input. Nothing. Nada. Pure heartlessness and corruption out of Nashville. Thank goodness for some very dedicated Memphis citizens, who went all the way to the US Supreme Court in what would become a landmark decision.
To be fair, this kind of 'heartless' highway development in urban areas happened all across the state and throughout much of the country. It was done in a time when urban neighborhoods weren't as desirable and there wasn't much thought given to tearing apart the urban fabric of a city.

But yes, thankfully this particular destruction was stopped. It would've been a real shame if I-40 had plowed right through Overton Park.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
10,653 posts, read 8,085,242 times
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I lived through it. As a child, I grew up in the Evergreen District, and I still think of the community meetings.

One of the most vivid images from my childhood is walking to friends' houses past empty lots where only the stone steps and front walk were left.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
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One of the remaining scar areas - that knucklehead_vol was talking about - is really gross, and it drags down the western end of Evergreen/Crosstown really badly. I wonder if it is still owned by the State of TN and what might happen to that area in the future?
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Music City, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
One of the remaining scar areas - that knucklehead_vol was talking about - is really gross, and it drags down the western end of Evergreen/Crosstown really badly. I wonder if it is still owned by the State of TN and what might happen to that area in the future?
I looked it up. There's not even a parcel number for it...which is kind of weird, because it shows plenty of other things that the state owns, including parcels that are now completely engulfed by the interchange where the street grid once went through.


So...yeah...I would guess the state probably does own it...but it's sort of like no one recognizes it.

Talk to your state rep...try to get some community involvement to turn it into a park. It's a nice amount of green space. About 9 acres.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Crosstown *****
964 posts, read 706,296 times
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What is supposed to happen is it will be turned into a park connecting to the greenline. All of this is contingent on Sears. But with construction starting in December or January, it is looking good.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:02 AM
 
215 posts, read 140,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
To be fair, this kind of 'heartless' highway development in urban areas happened all across the state and throughout much of the country. It was done in a time when urban neighborhoods weren't as desirable and there wasn't much thought given to tearing apart the urban fabric of a city.
To be fair, we didn't know how horrible that practice would be for neighborhoods 50 years ago. It was common belief that an interstate moving through a part of town would be an economic benefit.

Today, people are more mindful of it and we will at least attempt to build highways around populated areas.

When you think about it, they weren't even tearing down a few homes and businesses (which is understandable)....they were cutting a path through an entire city. I believe that Cooper blvd is responsible for much of the decline in the neighborhoods along Summer avenue. We are very fortunate that Memphis fought this. Some of the city's best neighborhoods would have been split in two like the ones along Summer east of the park.

There's a section of I-10 in New Orleans that was built in a smilar way....as an elevated expressway in the median of Claiborne Ave. The locals are trying to get that section removed completely to dispurse traffic on the local street grid. The freeway will be replaced with a green space and street cars. It costs Boston dearly to replace the elevated freeway that ran through their city center. There's no opportunity to remove freeways in Memphis now, but I'm glad the city prevented itself from being a cautionary tale like New Orleans (and so many others).

Can you imagine how upset you'd be, as a homeowner, if your neighborhood was expropriated and leveled to build a federal highway only to have the project changed?
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