Downtown Block Gets Makeover To Help Promote The Arts - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Downtown Block Gets Makeover To Help Promote The Arts

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Starting next week the block of 5th Avenue North, between Church and Union Streets, will get a makeover that will highlight the area as an arts district.

That section of downtown is home to 20 art galleries and will be called the 5th Avenue North Arts District when construction of the new streetscape is completed.

Anne Brown opened the first gallery on the street 16 years ago. Today The Arts Company has been joined by several large galleries on 5th Avenue North and many more inside The Arcade building.

Brown said the area has transformed since she first brought the visual arts to downtown Nashville.

"You go to a city to see where the life of the city is and this is where a lot of that life has come to be, right now," Brown said.

That section of downtown is about to see another transformation as Metro Public Works begins a project that will update the look of the street.

"We're going to have wider sidewalks, completely updated. Then lots and lots of walls of LED lights coming down around the block. It's going to be very cool," said Jeff Rymer, owner of the Rymer Gallery.

LED light curtains will hang across the street from 30 foot polls. The city will repave the road, construct new sidewalks, plant new landscaping and create pedestrian areas alongside the road.

"You'll be able to see our street from the new Music City convention center. So as you look up the hill, we'll be a destination," Rymer explained.

Both gallery owners said the streetscape plan will change the look and feel of downtown Nashville.

"Not just to this street, this block, but symbolically it's a step forward for the arts and Nashville as a creative center," Brown said.

The project is expected to take six months to complete, at a cost of $1.5 million. That block of 5th Avenue North was already scheduled for a infrastructure upgrade.



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