Broad Avenue Water Tower Pavilion

Binghampton Development Corporation/Historic Broad Avenue Art Alliance

Funding Received: 2013
Memphis, TN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
March 12, 2014

Bike gate installation at Overton Park

As our launch date for the Water Tower Pavilion approaches (April 2014), significant activity has occurred related to the build and design of the loading dock, service court area and street level access.

While The Water Tower Pavilion will be a space for performance and related activity, we are very committed to reflecting the authenticity, creativity and grassroots history of Broad Avenue. We are so fortunate to have strong community support and partners wanting to see the Water Tower Pavilion a success and share their resources to make this happen.

This past month many pieces of the build fell into place:

-- Design plan approved by property owner. Honoring the property owner’s request to not encumber the industrial use of the space created a challenge. Ritchie Smith and Associates (local landscape architect) designed a grand staircase to connect the street with the performance courtyard that will still provide ample space for the warehouse trucks to utilize the dock during weekdays.

-- Industrial materials to adaptively reuse for seating, artistic elements, and planters have been committed to donating cable spools, pallets, planters, and a dumpster. Many thanks to Power & Tel, Ebox, and the City of Memphis.

-- Elisha Gold, Memphis-based metal artist, is creating both a welcome sculpture and artistic railing for the grand staircase utilizing recycled bicycles. Given the proximity of the Pavilion to Memphis world class cycle track, we are thrilled to incorporate these elements to tie both projects together. The Hampline will be completed later this year.

-- The five semi-finalists for the Water Tower public art transformation have submitted their design concepts. The finalists will be selected later this month. The winning design will be selected by the public on April 13 at a community dinner.

Recent Wins
Public art, community commitments and donated materials are the big wins of this month.

We not only had wins in gaining materials for our Water Tower Pavilion but also had great press and continued buzz around the Hampline. The western gateway to the Hampline, a gateway made from bicycles by artist Tylur French, was installed at Overton Park. This artistic arch will be a welcoming part of the Hampline and ties in the artistic history of Broad Avenue. Please visit here for more information on the project.

Another public art project in the neighborhood received attention as well. Pete Beeman, a Portland-based public artist, was selected to create the Discover Binghampton project –Four Art Exploration Stations to be located along the Hampline. Urban Art Commission has coordinated this project in conjunction with the Broad Avenue Arts District, Livable Memphis and Binghampton Development Corporation.

We have also had a successful month beginning to program the space. We have already booked a number of events in April and will be hosting a number of well known community groups in the city at the Pavilion in the summer and fall.

Public art will have a big presence Binghampton and Broad Avenue and we couldn't be more thrilled.

Be proactive. We have learned a lot in the past weeks on being proactive and how it benefits our long-term goals. For us, it was gaining counsel related to gang tagging and colors, ways to enhance access for persons with disabilities and permits from wine sales to signage.

Business owners and neighbors noticed some new graffiti in an alley way on Broad Avenue. We reached out to our local police precinct and were connected to their gang unit. The unit was able to come out, review graffiti and then let us know if it was gang related. They were also able to give guidance on color choices, and how color choices can incite gang activity. Obviously, we are keeping this in mind as we finalize the Pavilion and other art on Broad. We want to ensure that Broad Avenue maintains a safe place for people to visit and linger as well as protecting the facilities. Whether your project is in a core urban area such as ours or rural, we strongly recommend working in partnership with your local police department.

Another thing that is important to the construction of our Pavilion is that we are accessible to people with disabilities and are able to go above and beyond ADA regulations. We reached out to our local Center for Independent Living (CIL) for their direction on our Pavilion plans and parking. CIL not only had great advice and input but also will be using the space for a performance in July. A construction and programming win!

We also battled one of the least sexy things when it comes to planning events and building a space - permitting. In order to avoid delays or surprises we are cultivating relationships with our Code Enforcement and Permit Offices.