Thursday, September 14, 2006
Remember how an embittered member of Metro Council, Charlie Tygard, spoke venomously of the Downtown courthouse and adjoining Public Square Park as community-draining "monuments to government," as if libraries or schools built by Metro in his district would not be likewise? Well, one recent announcement for development at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Union Street shows that if these are monuments, they are at least paying some private dividends. Besides being an asset that Nashvillians (especially Downtown's growing resident population) can enjoy, the attractive new Public Square Park is stimulating a $5 million expansion to AmSouth Center that will add a restaurant and a fitness center with scenic views of the park. Do you think AmSouth Center would have expanded toward the public property if Metro (especially the Mayor's Office) had just left the block with that old ugly surface parking that used to be there and instead built Charlie Tygard a library? I doubt it. Morgan Park on my side of town needs a lot of work and upgrades, but you don't hear me trying to leverage it by using Mr. Tygard's cheeky disrespect toward what will be one of Nashville's central and more prominent greenspaces. That's because I believe we all benefit from more greenspace anywhere in Nashville, even when some of us don't get exactly what we want when we want it.