Friday, May 23, 2014

Paradise Paved: Nashville's Greatest Park Bites the Dust

Posted By on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

There are many fine parks in our fair city, from the Shelby and McCabe and Sevier to Beaman and the Warners, and dozens more, but for my money nothing beats the expansive lawns and peaceful forests of Broadway Park, that oasis of green near Vandy at the confluence of Broadway and 21st Avenue South. Okay, granted, all told it's about the size of a couple of large family rooms, so maybe a better name for it is Hallucination Park.

Sadly, as of this week an even more apt name for it is Asphalt Park because Broadway Park is no more. Where will Vandy denizens gather for a pickup game of ultimate? Where will judicial candidates illegally plant their yard signs? Not here anymore.


Above, the Broadway Park in its heyday (which for now lives on at Google Maps Street View). After the jump, the damage done (a photo taken this morning).


In Betsy Phillips's long-running series of Nashville park reviews on Pith a few years ago, she had this to say about Broadway Park:

I took for granted that Broadway Park was an actual park, since it has a sign that declares it so. But it's not listed on Metro's park list. This brings up a lot of questions. Did Metro Parks forget about Broadway Park? Did it used to be a park but they decommissioned it? Is it a rogue park—a piece of grass that decided "To hell with just being a traffic median! Today I am a park! Get me a sign!"? Is there a possibility of any patch of grass just deciding it's a park? Should I keep a closer eye on my front lawn, to prevent it from getting ideas? If Metro didn't put up the sign, who did?

Betsy summed it up as "a lovely little snack-sized park, a nice, welcome patch of nature in a knot of traffic." Now it's gone, the newly laid carpet of asphalt a jarring metaphor for the ways that a booming "it city" blithely discards its halcyon past. Or something.

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