Went to White Pine on Saturday, and after I was done I drove into Morristown to see their downtown. Turns out they have an unusual second story walkway along the length of the downtown. It goes in front of all the buildings on the main drag, with bridges connecting the two sides and ramps going from ground level to the walkway.
Neat idea. I asked some people at the Java Garden coffee house about it, but they weren’t sure when the walkways were built. (Good coffee, though.) Melissa remembers a Heartland Series episode about them, but I couldn’t find any information on the old InterWeb. Any information appreciated.
The folks at the coffee house thought that these were rare, and were either the only such walkways on the east coast, or maybe the entire United States. That suggests the idea wasn’t a raging success. Most of the buildings had doors that opened on the walkway, though most of the doors seemed to be for the business on the first floor, and were locked. In fact, the only place that seemed to only exist on the second floor was the campaign headquarters of Carl “Two Feathers” Whitaker for Tennessee governor in 2006. Another coffee shop called Higher Grounds had a little patio on their part of the walkway (see third picture below), which happened to be a cul-de-sac.
It was raining Saturday, and one benefit of the walkways was that they served as awnings when I was on the ground level. The biggest downside of the walkways is the way they disrupt the appearance of the nice old architecture. There are a couple of gorgeous buildings like the Frets music store that are hard to appreciate with a gray, concrete bridge looming in front of them. The designers tried to enhance the aesthetics of the concrete works with planters on the second story, but the planters have all gone to seed and weeds. It looks like the walkways were a failed, but interesting experiment.
Cell phone pics below.