City, Aslan Foundation Open Fort Dickerson Gateway Installment

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City, Aslan Foundation Open Fort Dickerson Gateway Installment

Posted: 05/03/2017
Fort Dickerson Gateway openedMayor Madeline Rogero, City Council and representatives from the Aslan Foundation celebrated the opening of the bold, new Fort Dickerson Gateway, the Chapman Highway portal for Fort Dickerson Park, 3000 Fort Dickerson Road (at the intersection of Woodlawn Pike and Chapman Highway).

The new park entrance includes a three-story stone veneer wall, 15-foot twin pillars, and open space about the size of a baseball field diamond enclosed by a circular stone seat wall.

With new accessible sidewalks, a new entrance road, a new covered bus stop and an elaborate stone staircase to assist with the park’s hilly landscape, the Fort Dickerson Gateway truly serves as an all-access portal to the City’s 85-acre Fort Dickerson Park.

“The Aslan Foundation went beyond donating land or funds, ensuring that we had an attractive entrance to Fort Dickerson Park, one of our Urban Wilderness jewels,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero. “We are grateful to them for making such a prominent enhancement to Chapman Highway, South Knoxville, and our city overall.”

The Aslan Foundation purchased property, formerly G&R Automotive, for the gateway, investing a total of $1.65 million in property, design, and construction to ensure that the enhancement served as an eye-catching entrance to the historic Fort Dickerson.

“The Aslan Foundation is committed to promoting the revitalization of Knoxville's public spaces through preservation of the area’s natural and historic assets and through thoughtful design,” said Bob Young, Aslan Foundation Board President. 

The Fort Dickerson Gateway was designed by Mark Foster Gage Architect in collaboration with Carol R. Johnson Associates. Hickory Construction served as the contractor, and the City of Knoxville Engineering Department oversaw construction of the entire project.

“Our goal with the Fort Dickerson entrance project was to work collaboratively with the City to create a gateway park that graciously welcomes Knoxvillians as well as visitors to the historic Civil War site,” Young added.

Fort Dickerson Gateway complements the City’s recent $1 million Fort Dickerson Road Realignment Project, which realigned Fort Dickerson Park’s Chapman Highway entrance with Woodlawn Pike and introduced a much-needed traffic light, sidewalks and crosswalks for the park entrance. 

The realignment linked Fort Dickerson Park into a local pedestrian system, making it more convenient for neighbors and business patrons in South Knoxville to walk into the park from Chapman Highway.

Fort Dickerson Park includes an historic, earthen Civil War fort with three replica cannons (maintained by the local Civil War Roundtable), a large water-filled quarry with scenic overlook, two picnic shelters, and nearly two miles of paved and unpaved trails, maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and the City’s Greenways Service Crew.

Part of the 1,000-acre Urban Wilderness, Fort Dickerson is included in plans for a “Battlefield Loop” Trail that will connect to three other Civil War sites (Fort Higley, Fort Stanley and Armstrong’s Hill).

The City of Knoxville is currently partnering with the Aslan Foundation, who has hired Brandon Pace as well as other partners, to design other improvements to the park’s Blount Avenue entrance, which provides access to the quarry lake.

For more information on Fort Dickerson and City improvement projects, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/projects