Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Concepts for Creating Iconic Civic Places and Transforming our Streets

Downtown Lenoir City Revitalization

Proposed Downtown Master Plan
Proposed Downtown Master Plan
A proposed master plan for the downtown core along Broadway provides a mix of uses, including increased residential and commercial opportunities for economic viability.
Proposed New Buildings for Downtown
Proposed New Buildings for Downtown
Several building programs are proposed as part of the downtown Main Street, including a new community library, a farmers market and art gallery, a new municipal building for city hall, and a museum highlighting the mill town history of Lenoir City.
Proposed Municipal Building
Proposed Municipal Building
In an effort to redirect development interests into the downtown, Lenoir City has a capacity to spur redevelopment of the area by locating their new city hall in the downtown core. A new municipal building is proposed for a vacant site along Broadway that would house not only city hall activities, such as a new mayor’s office and city council chambers, but also would provide leasable commercial space for the area abutting Broadway.
Museum and History Center
Museum and History Center
Creating a history center and new museum structure is proposed as a potential driver for economic development and tourism in the downtown. The plan proposes the preservation and restoration of four historic buildings from the 1800s: the Lenoir House, the Cotton Mill, the Railroad Industrial Warehouses, and the Lenoir City Company Headquarters. A community garden space, that could off er educational agricultural uses, is also proposed for the site.
 
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PROJECT NAME:

Downtown Lenoir City
Revitalization

DEMONSTRATION PROJECT PARTNER:

University of Tennessee, Knoxville,
College of Architecture and Design

About this Project

This project produced a phased downtown master plan for Lenoir City along the historic core of Broadway (U.S. 11), a road diet proposal, and several new building projects designed to spur the redevelopment of downtown as a vibrant, economically sustainable, walkable mixed-use destination. In the short term, a road diet provides a dedicated turn lane, bike lanes and increased on-street parking, with a later phase to include wider sidewalks, vegetated medians and street tree plantings. Long-term proposals include a museum and the preservation of historic structures highlighting Lenoir City’s history as a cotton mill town, an improved multi-use city hall building, a new library integrating social and community spaces, as well an artists and crafters studio, a gallery and a farmers market.

Available Resources

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Concepts for Creating Iconic Civic Places and Transforming our Streets: Downtown Lenoir City Revitalization

Background

Lenoir City and the Loudon County Economic Development Agency, partners in the PlanET regional planning endeavor, requested a revitalization concept for their downtown. The University of Tennessee pledged assistance to PlanET through a series of semester-long design studios focusing on regional issues. This project demonstrates the potential for a Main Street concept, including a road diet on Broadway for Lenoir City’s downtown. The road diet proposal was supported by staff from the Knoxville Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization. The project focuses on creating a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and economically sustainable downtown.

Concepts

Capitalize on the unique identity of our communities
Downtown Lenoir City’s historic buildings and legacy as a cotton mill town are ripe for preservation and redevelopment opportunities. However, development interests in the last 20 years have been largely pulled to U.S. 321 from the downtown core of Broadway (U.S. 11). Detractors for redevelopment have included the traffic, perceived lack of parking and poor pedestrian experience in the downtown. The downtown plan proposes a phased road diet for Broadway, including a dedicated turn lane, landscaping, wider sidewalks, bike lanes and parklets interspersed with on-street parking to restore the Main Street feel of downtown. A multi-use historical museum and restoration of historic structures related to the cotton mill industry, as well as an artist/craft studio, gallery and farmers market space strengthen the tourism potential for Loudon County’s agricultural and craft heritage.

Redevelop vacant and underutilized land
This plan for downtown Lenoir City demonstrates redevelopment opportunities for several vacant and underutilized parcels within the core. One major vacant area is proposed for a new City Hall building. This structure would house not only city offices, but also provide leasable retail and office space to encourage economic and pedestrian activity in the corridor. Another redevelopment opportunity proposed is the addition of a new multi-use public library structure that would also continue to house the Good Samaritan Center, and provide public outdoor space for gathering for community meals.

Transform our streets and create iconic civic places
The current condition of Broadway (U.S. 11) running through downtown creates an unfriendly pedestrian experience, limiting the redevelopment potential of the area. A phased road diet is proposed as part of the Main Street program to create a more walkable, safe, bikeable, landscaped atmosphere that would also encourage redevelopment by providing outdoor seating and/or outdoor display opportunities. Main Street communities, though redevelopment incentives and event programming, draw tourists and residents back into downtown by providing a space for social interaction and entertainment. A phased road diet serves multiple uses for this corridor, while increasing vehicular and pedestrian safety and creating a more pleasant atmosphere for existing and new businesses.

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