The Glass House Collective, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Lyndhurst Foundation announced a grand opening celebration for the Glass Street Gateway next Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The final build day was set for today (Sunday) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The location of the Gateway is along Crutchfield Street between Glass Street and Dodson Avenue ending at the new Save-A-Lot grocery store at 2300 Dodson Ave.
Organizers of the Asphalt Art Initiative, funded by a $25,000 grant only 16 cities of 210 applicants received, consulted with over 300 local residents for input on the project which seeks to use art and design to improve safety, revamp public spaces, and engage the community.
Dozens of volunteers, designers, and artists contributed to the creation of the Gateway, which includes a large asphalt mural designed by students at nearby Hardy Elementary School and renowned Chattanooga mural artist Kevin Bate.
In addition to revamping the public space with planters and benches, the Gateway provides a safe walking area for residents to get to the new Save-A-Lot grocery store which was called "a source of healthy food in this otherwise food desert."
Save-A-Lot store manager Christina Mack said the gateway will provide safe accessibility of nutritious food to the neighborhood. “The Save-a-Lot is excited to partner with local residents and artists to create a welcoming space for families right outside our business,” she said. “The new temporary street park will be a great addition to the community, and we are excited to see more families and children using the space.”
This Sunday, artists, students, and volunteers from local organizations were to descend upon the Gateway to complete and clean up the project that has been months in the making before its unveiling the following weekend.
Organizers say the initiative "has truly been a community effort, involving Glass Street residents and professional designers alike."
Glass House Collective Executive Director Teal Thibaud said she is encouraged by the involvement of so many neighborhood members as they are the ones directly affected and benefiting from the project.
She said, "We are so honored to play a role in this project. We appreciate all of the neighborhood residents, pastors, local business owners, Hardy Elementary students, design professionals and artists in every step of the process - planning, designing, and building since the very beginning. We’ve been working on this project for months and look forward to seeing it all come together and programming the new space throughout the summer.”
The unveiling ceremony is open to the public. There will be guest speakers, live music provided by SoundCorps, a food truck, children’s activities, public mural paintings, and roller skating provided by Chattanooga-based Moonlight Roller. COVID-19 protocols, including mask-wearing and social distancing, will be observed.