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Civic Center Plaza Questions

 

Now that the State of the State address is done, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is doing the roadwork for his proposed budget and priorities for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

He was at the University of Memphis Tuesday morning and on his way to Jackson for the afternoon.

The roadwork is about making sure each place he goes knows what is in the budget for them and hitting the larger themes about the state as a whole.

Haslam faced some questions after his appearance at the U of M about the plan for the state to move out of the Civic Center Plaza.

Here is our updated story that includes his comments on the move out of the Donnelly Hill state office building.

Memphis isn’t alone in this. The Cordell Hull state office building in Nashville would not only close as a state office building. It would be torn down, according to The Tennessean’s post-state of the state account.

Haslam said this morning in Memphis that he is aware the decision to close the state office building in Civic Center Plaza comes a week after Pinnacle Airlines Corp. announced it is moving its 500 employees out as the anchor tenant of One Commerce Square and moving company HQ to Minneapolis.

It also seems as if the early 1960s concept of Civic Center Plaza is being questioned on several fronts. The plaza was the idea of having a set of then-new modern office buildings on Main Street between Poplar and Adams at a time when city and county governments had filled the Shelby County Courthouse to capacity and 157 Poplar Avenue was built to handle the overflow from it. The 1910 era police station that fronts on Adams Avenue was expanded to hold the police and some courts as well.

The federal courts were in what is now the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law on Front Street.

Nearly 50 years later, all of those modern office buildings grouped together aren’t so modern anymore. Some have had more renovation than others. The county administration building is now undergoing a major renovation. City Hall, opened in 1966 at the twilight of the old commission form of government and the dawn of the mayor-council form of government, is the subject of a Wharton administration facility study that Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has said will include a look at whether the city might be able to use any of the space at the state office building.

 

 

Dansette

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