I walk to work each morning through one of the most beautiful blocks in Nashville – 5th Avenue through Germantown between Madison and Monroe. Greenery and gardens abound. Friendly faces, hot dogs, Germantown Cafe and front porches. But then, I cross Jefferson. Take a look at the picture. This is what I see when I cross Jefferson. This is what many thousands of people see when they cross the Jefferson Street bridge into our side of town.
The blight in the picture does not stand alone. It seems that a certain landlord purchased every business between 4th and 6th on Jefferson and every business between Jefferson and Jackson (going south from Jefferson) with the intent of tearing down the existing structures and building bigger and nicer structures.
But, and this is quite a but..the businesses moved out, leaving their concrete behind, and the new owner didn’t bother to tear down the abandoned buildings..didn’t bother to clean up the lots, check to see if the buildings were being used as temporary shelter, check to see if a rodent infestation had begun, or check to see if fires started in the vacant lots by squatters might be a little dangerous.
Come on landlord..clean this up, NOW! Not just for my view, but for the fact that this blight is next to the beautiful Bi-Centennial mall, for the fact that people are now living nearby, for the fact that blight begets blight, and for the fact that by God, it’s the right thing to do.
Oh yeah..the landlord. Who is the landlord????
It’s my employer, the wonderful state of Tennessee. Come on Mr. Bredesen, come on general services and public works, take CARE of this mess. I understand (how I understand!) that we don’t have the money to build the new archives and state library and state museum slated for the purchased land, but you need to spend the money to at least level the blight and remove the unsightly and dangerous shelter for homeless who don’t need to living there.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that there has been a rash of burglaries and car-break-ins in the last few months. Our neighborhoods and cars are tempting targets for dwellers in this sad threshold.