Mayor Karl Dean’s office has released final design renderings for the future West Riverfront Park, at the old thermal plant site on the Cumberland River. The Metro property — between the newly christened John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and the Korean Veterans Bridge — has sat empty and mostly idle since the plant burned down in 2002.
At first glance, the park’s design looks almost like a mirror image of Cumberland Park on the east bank. It has a similar garden-landscaped path and teardrop shape. Cumberland Park technically does have an amphitheater — a covered stage with lawn seating, anyway — West Riverfront Park’s amphitheater is meant to be a large scale performance venue that can accommodate 6,500 people.
The amphitheater’s walls are designed to echo the texture of the river’s limestone cliffs. Planners are aiming for LEED certification, with a green roof, geothermal climate control, solar power, and rainwater collection.
The press release says the park will provide a link between the riverfront greenway system and the pedestrian bridge.
The Mayor’s office says the park should be completed during the summer of 2015. Downtown dog-owners may rejoice: Here’s an aerial view that shows, among other things, the location of a “K9 Playground.”