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New Fort Dickerson Gateway Means Curb Appeal, Residential Access, & Increased Tourism Draw 
A view of the Fort Dickerson Gateway from above

Last week, officials opened the new Fort Dickerson Gateway, a scenic, new portal to the Chapman Highway entrance to Fort Dickerson Park.

The gateway was made possible by a generous $1.6 million investment from the Aslan Foundation and follows the City's recent $1 million road realignment of the park's entrance to Woodlawn Pike.

Officials cut ribbon
(left to right) Councilman Finbarr Saunders, Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh, Councilman Daniel Brown, Aslan Foundation Board Member Jim McDonough, Aslan Foundation Board Member Lindsay McDonough, Mayor Madeline Rogero, Aslan Foundation Executive Director Andrea Bailey Cox, Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, and Knox County Commissioner Carson Dailey

Now, with accessible sidewalks, crosswalks, and large staircase leading to the park's quarry overlook, residents from adjacent neighborhoods can stroll up to the new gateway's green space as well as other amenities in the park.

Furthermore, a new covered bus stop positioned at the Fort Dickerson Gateway entrance means tourists staying in town (as well as area residents) can ride bus route 41 for a $3 or under round trip to visit Fort Dickerson Park.

A new covered bus shelter was installed at the new Fort Dickerson Gateway
A covered bus shelter makes mass transit a convenient travel option for the park.

At the ceremony, Mayor Rogero referenced when Peter Hillary, son of famous mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, spoke at a Legacy Parks fundraiser event held at Fort Dickerson Quarry in 2011.

"He spoke about what an amazing 'treasure' Fort Dickerson Park was, comparing its proximity to downtown Knoxville to New York City’s Central Park," Mayor Rogero said. "That was news probably to all at the time but the park’s volunteer groups and neighbors...This isn’t going to be a secret anymore, thanks in part to the generosity and extensive efforts of the Aslan Foundation."

The City is currently working with the Aslan Foundation and other partners to make amenity and access improvements to Fort Dickerson Park's quarry lake.

For more information on Fort Dickerson Park development, read the City's news release below, or visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/projects.

See below for a full video of the ribbon cutting ceremony provided by Community Television:

City of Knoxville media release on Fort Dickerson Gateway opening (5.3.17):

Mayor 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.
Posted by On 10 May, 2017 at 3:04 PM