walk and others preferring the street to remain open to traffic. The Design Center recommends that the street stay open because an overriding goal is the importance of connectivity and expanded bound- aries. To address the issues raised by the question of closing 4th Avenue North at Morgan Park, the Design
Morgan Park is a valuable asset to the people of East Germantown, Germantown, and Salemtown. Bounded by Taylor Street to the south, Hume Street to the north, 5th Avenue North to the west, and 3rd Avenue North to the east, Morgan Park is bisected by 4th Avenue North, with informal recreational space to the west and a baseball field to the east. The Civic Design Center recommends a number of improve- ments to the park emphasizing its role as a center for the community.
The Design Center recommends a new master plan for the park and the immediate area, with a more diverse program, emphasis toward 5th Avenue North—the Avenue of the Arts, and an east-west greenway that connects to the larger system. Re- search shows that the park was designed to include a wider range of programs in the 1930s. Residents also reported that the park had the been site of the Nashville Botanical Gardens. In addition to the design of the park itself, the master plan should emphasize the importance of the lots surrounding the park. Successful civic spaces depend in large part on the degree to which surrounding buildings define and address those spaces.
Center recommends two improvements: First, 4th Avenue North between Hume and Taylor should be repaved with a textured surface, indicating the importance of the park. Second, signs should be designed for the thresholds of the park, and most importantly, for the park entrance on 4th Avenue North.
The closing of 4th Avenue North through the park was also considered in community meetings and during design analysis sessions. Community consensus was unclear—some preferring a pedestrian
Thresholds and Boundaries Rather than exiting a highway ramp or stopping at a traffic light at the foot of a bridge, something
Morgan Park at 4th Avenue North.
Nashville Civic Design Center Report: The neighborhoods north of downtown Nashville page 13
more substantial should signify arrival to Buena Vista, East Germantown, Germantown, Hope Gardens, and Salemtown. One way to provide a threshold is the placement of buildings at the edge of the street. Placing the buildings at the street’s edge creates an outdoor room, which makes pedestrians feel more comfortable and has the effect of slowing vehicular traffic. Appropriate places for thresholds in the community are at 8th Avenue North and Buchanan Street, 8th Avenue North and Jefferson Street, Jefferson Street at 3rd Avenue North, and Jefferson Street at 12th Avenue North.
For the individual neighborhoods, thresholds also apply. While the neighborhoods expressed interest in stretching boundaries and creating links and connections, they benefit from maintaining identities of their own.
Jefferson Street and the Jefferson Street Bridge
The bridge, with a nearly 90 foot right-of-wa , encourages high automobile speeds and undermines a sense of arrival. The high speeds of traffic, coupled with sporadic building definition along Jefferson Street, also do not promote pedestrian use of the street. And, since Jefferson Street serves as a bound- ar , the quality of the street, its sidewalks, associated land uses, and architecture is critical to the commu- nity and its relationship to the city.