New public art installation opens in downtown Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – A new, interactive pedestrian corridor in the heart of downtown Chattanooga is officially open to the public.

Spearheaded by the River City Company, the new attraction called “The Scramble” is a $1.5 million dollar project located on the First Street walkway that was previously occupied by a run-down funicular, or people mover.

River City President Emily Mack says that it was an eyesore in need of renovation.

“It’s actually where the old funicular, or people mover, was located. It was defunct and it was later taken out of service. And so that really left this void and hole in our downtown and our built environment. And so what the Scramble is, is that it’s an opportunity to reimagine, reinvent and transform this public asset,” says Mack.

The Scramble uses locally cut stone from nearby Sequatchie County to create a fun and interactive space bridging the Bluff View Art District to the Tennessee Aquarium. City councilman Erskine Oglesby says that he anticipates similar projects to come along as the downtown region continues to see economic development.

“I see the Scramble as something that’s going to engage other communities to have projects like that, that’s going to bring those communities together. I envision projects like the Scramble being interactive as far as you have our individual communities. But in order to be a strong city, those individual communities have to come together,” says Councilman Oglesby.

The city gave $800,000 for the project, with River City putting up the remainder with contributions from the Lyndhurst and Benwood foundations.

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