The City has demolished the parking garage, fire station, and a section of the Chickasaw bluff between Union and Monroe and started work on an underground parking garage.
Removing the out-of-date and improper buildings opened up the opportunity for Memphis to use the Public Promenade as was always intended - to create a civic terrace and greenway along the entire face of the city and to reconnect downtown to the river. It's been a city goal for a long time and was part of the 2017 concept plan by consultants Studio Gang.
In 2017 Studio Gang suggested the unnecessary buildings be removed, the space and view be opened up, and a small "cultural amenity" and sculpture garden be added.
That same year, Brooks announced its plan to move downtown, and Friends began communicating with Brooks, the City, Herzog de Meuron architects, and primary donors to remind them of the easement's existence and to request that any design respect the Public Promenade, keep the bluff green, and be free. In their design for a museum, not unveiled until April 2023, they have chosen to ignore the Public Promenade, and the relatively small building on an open civic terrace seen in Studio Gang's plan has ballooned into a massive private museum.
Memphis deserves better!