MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Memphis Park, on Front Street and Court Avenue, is planned to have an addition of trees, plants, patio seating, and picnic tables.
The plan for the park will be reviewed Wednesday by the Downtown Memphis Commission Design Review Board and will likely be approved.
The park, formerly known as Confederate Park, is in the heart of downtown Memphis and used to be the home of the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
The statue, along with war cannons, were removed from the park in 2017.
Van Turner, Shelby County Commission chairman and Memphis Greenspace president, said he wants the park to be more inclusive to the community.
“We’ve done a lot to give the park a new look, refresh it, make it open and accessible to all Shelby Countians and Memphians,” Turner said.
Turner said the removal of the statue and the war cannons were important steps in revitalizing the space.
“We can’t progress as long as we live in the past,” Turner said.
George Abbott, Executive Director of External Affairs for Memphis River Parks Partnership, said the park will feature a “neutral vibe” to welcome all people.
“You can look at this park and this park feels like things are missing,” Abbott said.
Abbott said the park will also feature walking paths that will help lead people toward the river walk. Memphis River Parks Partnership said it wants Memphis Park to complement its other park across the river on Mud Island.
“It grew up over time around these monuments and statues,” Abbott said. “Now that the statues are gone, what these changes will do is kind of restore the park back to be very natural and beautiful and essentially a neutral site for people to enjoy.”
Memphis River Park Partnership said it hopes to complete the additions to the park by the end of the summer. Turner also said the remaining remnants of Confederate Park, such as a plaque and a bench, will eventually be removed as well.
To check out the full plan for the park, click here.