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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Architecture of Morristown: skywalk

Architecture of Morristown: skywalk

The central Shopping District of Morristown has one thing that really stands out.

If you go to any preserved old town, you're going to find in the heart of town, a bunch of old buildings with interesting storefronts and various older acrhitectural styles. In the late 1960s, Morristown decided they had a problem needing a unique solution. Town leaders decided to build second-story skywalks, which they called the SkyMart. The idea was you could double the number of businesses along the main strip, potentially doubling the number of shoppers that come to town.

Did it work? If it had, you'd be seeing it in other small cities, and you won't see it anywhere other than Cincinnati, which is a big city where it didn't work.

I don't know what's transpired over the last 40 years, but when I walked the skywalk, I didn't see any businesses I could shop in. On any given day, I suppose you could find walkers, locals getting to their upper floor apartments, and the occasional tourist. Even still, if you go to the Morristown website or find a Hamblen County brochure, this will be listed as a thing to see.

Photographically, you can see things you won't see anywhere else, like getting up close to a ghost wall ad. On the down side, you can only get the top half of some of the more interesting buildings.

For the full story, check out this document on the Morristown website:
www.morristownchamber.com/documents/SkyMart.pdf

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