I travel I-24 into and out of Chattanooga several times a week, most weeks. It use to be the smell of the foundry's from Wheland and U.S. Pipe you first noticed as you rounded Moccasin Bend into the Scenic City. One thing about that though, they were producing needed products and jobs.
As I came into Chattanooga at the end of last week, driving in the right hand lane I looked at the mini van to my left passing me. The lady in the passenger seat had a small video camera filming the entrance into Chattanooga. As they got passed me she turned away from the river scene and towards the ultra eyesore, turned graffiti haven, of the deserted Wheland and U.S. Pipe plants. She immediately put her camera down and made a grimace face as she pointed at the nasty sight.
I realize many things in life aren't perfect, but it is so hard to make a good first impression. Does anyone know who really owns these old facilities, who is responsible for them still existing in the dilapidated state they are in? I mentioned this to someone and they said there are laws on the books concerning these types places, that they should have already been torn down.
I find it extremely confusing that so many are concerned about public art and other window dressings concerning the Scenic City, that the entrance to the city, where the river flows so readily in full view, is contrasted by a literal graffiti dump? Sorry, this observation isn't from some well connected, up-scaled, well funded, study group, but I feel it is worthy of consideration.
* * *
I totally agree with the opinion concerning the old Wheland Foundry. I would also add the building next to Finley stadium as areas that are way overdue for razing.
* * *
I believe that state and local building, fire, and land codes most certainly apply to these former industrial sites. That land was acquired by a group from the federal courts. I believe it is the same developers that recently received a $9 million dollar Aetna Mountain TIF bond issue from the .Gov Bank of Chattanooga Taxpayers.
It is quite strange that the building and land codes don’t apply to the Southern Foundry property. Why would the federal bankruptcy court release property for sale, without provisions that the land be rendered compliant with public health and safety codes?
If the developers wanted the property, they should be required to comply with building codes and tear down the buildings. Otherwise, we have a different set of codes for dilapidated buildings for them, and another for us.
In fact, most businesses with dilapidated and abandoned buildings typically get citied to court, and lien issued on the property for demolition by the local government. Why are building and land codes being ignored with regard to these buildings for years?
Local codes officers will take a property owner to court over high grass and weeds, or even wild flowers, so this is very odd that building and safety codes are simply being ignored and dilapidated buildings are allowed to violate the rules for years.
If these developer bought the property, they also bought the liability. It is a disgrace to Chattanooga.
Tear down those disgraceful buildings.