Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Oak Ridge Original Town Site

Concepts for Redeveloping Underutilized Land & Creating Iconic Civic Places

Oak Ridge Master Plan
Oak Ridge Master Plan
This 50-year master plan provides a design and planning framework that can help make Oak Ridge into a more livable community that honors its history while capitalizing on its role as the research and development hub of the Southeast.
Central Avenue Streetscape
Central Avenue Streetscape
This streetscape concept for Central Avenue encourages mixed-use buildings, wide sidewalks and street trees, creating opportunities for economic redevelopment and encouraging pedestrian activity.
Jackson Square Plaza Ampitheater
Jackson Square Plaza Ampitheater
This amphitheater in Jackson Square would provide additional amenities for residents and create a space for special events.
Central Avenue Street Profile
Central Avenue Street Profile
The Esplanade concept, for Central Avenue, integrates pedestrians and bicyclists into the street profile and adds landscaping leading up to the Jackson Square area from the Oak Ridge Turnpike.
 
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PROJECT NAME:

The Oak Ridge Original Town Site: 
Concepts for Redeveloping Underutilized
Land and Creating Iconic Civic Places

DEMONSTRATION PROJECT PARTNER:

University of Tennessee, Knoxville,
Architecture Program and
Landscape Architecture Program

About this Project

Leveraging the historic assets of Oak Ridge’s original town site and the city’s heritage of energy technology research, this redevelopment plan contemplates a new vision for the core of the city as a mixed-use town center. The concept promotes a compact, walkable, transit-oriented development pattern, a socially invigorated live/work/play atmosphere, and a distinct sense of place evocative of the city’s past, present, and future and of the surrounding regional landscape.

Available Resources

Oak Ridge Townsite Poster Download the poster:

Concepts for Redeveloping Underutilized Land and Creating Iconic Civic Places: The Oak Ridge Original Town Site

Background

Leveraging the historic assets of Oak Ridge’s original town site and the city’s heritage of energy technology research, this redevelopment plan contemplates a new vision for the core of the city as a mixed-use town center. The concept promotes a compact, walkable, transit-oriented development pattern, a socially invigorated live/work/play atmosphere, and a distinct sense of place evocative of the city’s past, present, and future and of the surrounding regional landscape.

Concepts

Capitalize on the unique identity of our communities
This project encourages the preservation of World War II-era resources and the celebration of Oak Ridge history. This includes restoring original town site historic resources, chief among them The Guest House, also known as the Alexander Inn. Two nearby resources, the Jackson Square Apartments and the Chapel on the Hill, have been well maintained. Finally, the buildings of Jackson Square are proposed for continued use, as is Blankenship Field.

Create great places
The revitalization of Jackson Square as the centerpiece of the town site – by creating a plaza or similar feature in the parking area – would create a permanent setting for such events as the Farmer’s Market and Lavender Festival. Just south of Jackson Square, along Central Avenue leading to the Oak Ridge Turnpike, the most intense development is proposed, including three- to five-story buildings lining an esplanade. Central Avenue would be widened to a tree-lined boulevard, and new buildings would be developed next to wide sidewalks.

Preserve our natural filters
Existing open space can be maintained to offset higher-intensity development elsewhere in the town site. One opportunity identified is the meadow and wetlands below the former site of the Administration Building that was known as “The Castle on the Hill.” Acquisition of the site should be pursued to maintain this open space as a central feature of the Original Town Site. Unearthing the culverted stream that runs from the tennis courts to the meadow would improve water quality and create the opportunity for a new greenway.

Support inclusive communities and neighborhoods
The UT students determined that the area did not provide many housing choices for new college graduates or young families. The concept plan calls for a variety of housing, including apartments, townhouses and single-family detached homes. Combined with the potential for more shops and restaurants, the additional housing diversity creates an opportunity for boosting the vitality of the town site.

Grow more efficiently
The blocks near the edges of the district (areas west of Central Avenue and Bus Terminal Road and east of Laboratory Road) are characterized by older, low-intensity development, suggesting significant redevelopment opportunities. This plan envisions office park development along the Turnpike, new residences at the edge of the district. Office and medical-related uses are proposed to the east of the Medical Center.

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