River Parks Partnership selects firms to lead Tom Lee Park redevelopment

By Published: November 02, 2018 4:17 PM CT

The Memphis River Parks Partnership has chosen two firms to lead the redevelopment of Tom Lee Park.

Studio Gang, a Chicago-based architecture and urban design firm, and Scape, a New York City-based landscape architecture and urban design studio, will spearhead the redesign of the riverfront stretching between Carolina Avenue and Beale Street, from the blufftop to the riverbank.

Studio Gang was previously commissioned by the Mayor’s Riverfront Task Force to develop the Memphis Riverfront Concept plan, which was released in late 2017 and will serve as the basis for the park redesign.

The aim of the project, according to the Memphis River Parks Partnership, “is to foster positive encounters and civic pride, restore natural conditions and native ecology and connect the riverfront with Downtown.”

In addition, MRPP says the new park will support diverse programming and recreation while also providing enhanced infrastructure for festivals, such as the Memphis in May International Festival.

“With the leadership of a remarkable team of designers, we can finally get the riverfront we deserve,” Carol Coletta, president and CEO of Memphis River Parks Partnership, said in a statement. “Next week we open River Garden and River Line. Together with these new assets, and the restoration of the historic cobblestone landing, Tom Lee Park is an unparalleled opportunity to reshape the heart of our Downtown and make a once-in-a-lifetime civic statement for our city.”

MRPP’s building design committee, which will guide Studio Gang and Scape throughout the process, will hold its first meeting with the firms Nov. 2.

More than 4,000 Shelby County residents answered a survey during the development of the riverfront concept plan. The partnership says it has continued to survey Memphians since the plan was released and will hold other public engagement events, including student-led programs, in the coming months.


Memphis River Parks Partnership Tom Lee Park Studio Gang Scape
Kate Crawford

Kate Crawford

Associate editor Kate Crawford is a native Memphian and third-generation University of Memphis alumna.

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