TSW Staff Partners on Design Charrette for Lookout Mountain, GA

The Chattanooga Times Free Press highlighted the work of Tom Walsh and Adam Williamson of TSW, who partnered with Walker Collaborative to conduct Design Charrette for Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Article, along with image and Master Plan, below.


Lookout Mountain residents help plan town center
by Chloé Morrison
Chattanooga Times Free Press
May 19, 2008

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. — City officials and Atlanta architects are working with residents here to plan a new town center.

About 50 residents turned out for the most recent of several public meetings.

At the meeting Thursday, residents heard from Thomas Walsh with Atlanta-based architecture firm Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates, as well as Nashville urban planner Philip Walker with the Walker Collaborative.

Mr. Walker and Mr. Walsh went over a rough draft of plans for a town center, created with resident and stakeholder input, for 16.5 acres that surround City Hall.

The plans are subject to change but include a grocery store, sidewalks, a civic building, condominiums, retail services, office space and greenspace.

A basic principle of the plan is for a cohesive architecture style and more pedestrian-friendly areas.

“If it doesn’t have an architectural strength, it doesn’t work,” Mr. Walsh said.

The vision for the architecture includes pitched roofs and stone buildings.

Mountain resident Ina Crouch attended two other public meetings before the Thursday gathering.

“I think it is a beautiful plan, and I hope it happens,” she said. “I like the architecture and the fact that they’ve left plenty of greenspace.”

Residents discussed the need to find a balance between supporting new businesses and maintaining the small-town feel of the mountain.

Mr. Walker said he thinks the new town center needs more support, but residents have expressed a “have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too attitude” when it comes to attracting tourists and maintaining a close-knit community.

“I hope we get some good-quality stores up here,” Mrs. Crouch said.

During the meeting, residents asked about the timeline for the plan and the impact development would have on traffic.

The developers said the plan is preliminary and such details have not been figured out yet. Funding for the project is also uncertain, officials said.

Lookout Mountain Mayor Tom Gifford said at the meeting he hopes the changes will not lead to a property tax hike.

The 16.5 acres are owned by the city and Scott Maclellan, who was owner of the Mountain Market before it burned down in August 2007.

Mr. Walker said he thinks there is a strong demand for another grocery store.

Mr. Maclellan said he is eager to start working on changes. He said he is going to rebuild a grocery store and has been looking at different options, such as Greenlife.

“I like the configuration,” Mr. Maclellan said at the meeting. “I love the multipurpose greenspace. We could have block parties.”

Planners and residents also discussed the possibility of adding a pool near the mountain’s soccer complexes.

Other details, such as zoning standards for the town center, will need to be worked out, but developers said this is just phase one of planning.

“What we are doing is putting together the big vision,” Mr. Walsh said.

Photos and Document

Lookout Groceries

The original grocery store burned last summer.
The proposed grocery store will be 5,000 SF.

Lookout Mountain Town Center

This is a mixed-use village that will incorporate a
grocery store, city hall, police station, fire station, retail,
apartments, and a public green.

Lookout Mountain Master Plan (PDF, 1.49 MB)

We developed a master plan that creates a pedestrian-friendly environment by adding sidewalks and framing streets with human-scaled buildings that screen parking. The master plan also increases the number of residential units within the 16-acre study area.